Explosion rattles Istanbul metro station


Source: Al Jazeera

An explosion at a metro station in Istanbul has caused a number of casualties, Turkish local media reported.

The explosion, which struck during peak hour on Tuesday afternoon, occurred near the Bayrampasa metro station – with authorities suspending services to the station immediately after.

While Haberturk TV initially reported that one person died in the explosion, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said that only one citizen was slightly injured.

There were a number of conflicting reports, however, with local Bayrampasa district Mayor Atilla Aydiner saying that five people were injured.

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Istanbul, said footage of the incidentshowed that the explosion happened as the train travelled on an above ground section of the track, near the Bayrampasa station.

“The explosion cracked the windows of a train and the people on board were evacuated onto the tracks,” he said.

“Whatever the cause of it was – and police are saying they don’t know – mercifully, it appears that no one appears to have been killed

Turkish authorities have not yet released any official details about the incident, other than to say that the cause of the explosion was still not known.

Haberturk TV reported that a power transformer may have caused the blast, but the report could not be confirmed.

Although Istanbul’s metro is largely underground, it runs above ground in some places, including around Bayrampasa.

Photographs on social media showed what appeared to be dozens of people walking alongside overground train tracks after trains had been halted.

Turkey has suffered a number of bombings over the past few months, including twin blasts at a peace rally in Ankara in October, which killed around 100 people.

Authorities blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group for that attack.

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