ISTANBUL — An explosion on Sunday shook a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare in central Istanbul, killing at least four people and leaving 38 wounded, the provincial governor said.

Ali Yerlikaya was elected governor. a post on TwitterThe blast occurred around 4:20 p.m., local time.

The blast hit Istiklal Avenue, a short walk from Taksim Square and one of the city’s busiest areas for shopping, tourism and transit. The area may have seen more people because of a soccer match scheduled for Sunday night.

On social media, videos shared showed an orange fireball rising from a street, and panicked crowds running to flee the area. Another video from the scene showed several people badly injured on the ground. Some of them were covered in blood and not moving.

At the scene, a TV reporter reported that at least five people were walking but had been injured and four others lying on their stomachs.

Fire trucks and ambulances raced to the scene, while a helicopter hovered overhead. The area was immediately cordoned off and police were present. Some nearby stores had temporarily closed their doors after the blast but were reopened to people in need of shelter.

Carlotta Gall Contributed reporting