On Saturday, ten people were killed in a gas station explosion that shattered a small village in northwest Ireland, and emergency workers said they did not expect to find more survivors.
Creeslough, County Donegal, police said no one was injured in Friday’s explosion. As evidence points toward a tragic accident, Superintendent David Kelly says police are investigating the cause of the blast.
According to An Garda Siochana, a midafternoon explosion in Ireland killed four men, three women, two teenagers, and a girl in primary school. One person is in critical condition after the blast destroyed the Applegreen service station near the rugged Atlantic coast of Ireland.
Emergency responders from Ireland and Northern Ireland conducted a “search and recovery” operation on Saturday. Sniffer dogs searched the debris, and a mechanical digger lifted piles of rubble from the site on Saturday.
The explosion damaged an apartment building and nearby cottages, which leveled the leading shop and post office building.
Irish broadcaster RTE reported that blocks were thrown a hundred yards from the scene. The entire front of the building collapsed… and the roof of the first floor fell into the shop. “It’s a miracle anyone survived.”
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said it was one of the “darkest days for Donegal and the entire country.”
“All people on this island will be numbed by the same shock and utter devastation as the residents of Creeslough,” Martin said.
Agricultural Minister Charlie McConalogue, who represents Donegal in Ireland’s parliament, said the service station was well known throughout the country due to its prominent location on the area’s main N56 road.
Irish broadcaster RTE quoted him as saying, “People are shocked and numbed.”. “Everyone is concerned about the families who have lost loved ones and how they can help.”.
Pearse Doherty, another local lawmaker, said the community was in disbelief.
He described it as “something nobody ever imagined could happen in a small village like this where everyone knows everyone.”. He said, “A quarter past three yesterday, kids were coming out of school, and people were collecting welfare payments. It will take some time to sink in that such a nightmare could happen.”
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For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Two teens and a child among 10 people killed in Ireland gas station explosion – CNN
- Death toll rises to 10 in blast at gas station in Ireland – The AP
- Creeslough community ‘struggles with scale of tragedy’ – BBC
- Donegal explosion: Young girl and two teenagers among 10 confirmed dead in Creeslough tragedy – Independent