Three dead after service station blast in Ireland

Rescuers race against time to find survivors after explosion in Creeslough

Emergency services at the scene at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Ireland. PA
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Three people died and more were feared trapped in debris after a “devastating” explosion at a service station in Ireland.

Irish police confirmed the fatalities as search efforts continued at the site of the blast in Creeslough, Co Donegal for others feared missing following the devastating blast on Friday afternoon.

The Applegreen service station and surrounding buildings sustained extensive damage in the incident.

The major emergency response operation involving first responders from both sides of the Irish border was ongoing late on Friday night.

Among those gathered at the scene on Friday evening were relatives of people feared to have been in the station at the time of the explosion.

A crowd of about 30 people gathered behind the Garda cordon and watched in hushed silence.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said his thoughts and prayers were with the entire community of Creeslough.

“Thinking too of all the emergency services, from across the north-west and NI working in very traumatic situation,” he tweeted.

Multiple emergency service vehicles remained at the scene on Friday night while a Coastguard helicopter airlifted some of those who were injured in the blast from Letterkenny University Hospital to Dublin.

The Letterkenny hospital appealed to the public not to attend its emergency department unless it was urgent.

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar described the incident as “tragic”.

In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “Terrible news from Donegal tonight.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragic events and with the emergency services responding.”

Nina Gabel, 35, described distressing scenes at the cordon.

Emergency services at the scene at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough. PA

“There was one woman who didn’t know where her daughter was and she was very upset,” she told the PA news agency.

“There are emergency services everywhere, there were so many gardai and fire engines.

“What looked like local farmers’ tractors were helping to dig out the rubble.”

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it had dispatched specialist crews to assist the Donegal Fire Service at a “declared major incident” at the service station.

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar described the incident as “tragic”.

In a post on Twitter, Mr Varadkar wrote: “Terrible news from Donegal tonight.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragic events and with the emergency services responding.”

A local hotel stopped taking bookings from members of the public on Friday to ensure all spare rooms were held for first responders.

Updated: October 10, 2022, 5:33 AM
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