One killed by explosion in Istanbul home
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyOne person has been killed while another was seriously injured when pieces of rubble from an explosion reportedly caused by a gas leak in a fifth-floor Istanbul apartment early on June 12 fell to the street below.
The powerful blast hit an apartment in Istanbul’s central Cihangir neighborhood near Taksim Square at around 7 a.m., causing rubble to fall on by-passers on the street below.
One piece of rubble fall on a taxi, seriously wounding its driver, identified as Veysel Bulut.
Bulut was swiftly transferred to Şişli Hamidiye Training and Research Hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, the body of a street vendor was recovered from under the rubble by the emergency crews who were called to the scene. The identity of the vendor has yet to be disclosed.
A fire at the apartment ignited by the explosion was extinguished by the fire department after an hour, while the police taped off the area around the site of the blast.
“Something blasted like a bomb,” one bystander said, explaining that people started running around and only returned to help after a few minutes had passed.
The ensuing investigation revealed the apartment was rented by an official from the Greek Embassy, a woman named Katerina Helikopolou, 50, who rented the condo some six months ago.
Helikopolou had left for a vacation in the western province of İzmir the day before, reports said.
Diplomats from the Greek Embassy, including Consul General Evangelos Sekeris, inspected the site of the blast, as initial reports suggested it may have been caused by a gas leak.