Ireland ‘numbed’ as 10 people die in petrol station blast

  • Police say blast likely a tragic accident
  • Irish Prime Minister says whole country is ‘numb’ to devastation
  • One seriously injured, no further casualties expected

CREESLOUGH, Ireland, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Ten people, including two teenagers and a young girl, were killed in an explosion at a petrol station in Ireland’s County Donegal, police said on Saturday, adding the incident appeared to be “a tragic accident”.

Police said no further casualties were expected from the explosion which occurred shortly after 3:00 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Friday at the Applegreen petrol station on the outskirts of the village of Creeslough.

The dead, all from the area, also included four men and three women. Eight people are being treated in hospital, including a seriously injured one who was airlifted to Dublin.

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“We have to keep an open mind as a police service in how we investigate this, but our information at this point indicates a tragic accident,” Superintendent David Kelly told a news conference.

Photographs from the scene showed a two-story building above the gas station store with blown walls and a partially collapsed roof, and debris strewn across the forecourt where several cars were parked. Read more

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said the incident was an indescribable tragedy for a small community of a few hundred people.

“The people of this island will be numb to the same sense of shock and utter devastation as the people of Creeslough at this tragic loss of life,” Martin said in a statement late Friday.

“I wish to express my deepest condolences to their family, friends and the whole community of Creeslough, at this darkest time for Donegal and the whole country.”

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims.

Local Sinn Fein lawmaker Pearse Doherty said at the scene on Friday that the “massive explosion” had been heard for miles around. As the only supermarket in the village and home to a post office and hairdressers, he said the station would have been very busy just at the end of the school day.

Bernard Doherty, who lives nearby and knew all but one of the victims, told national broadcaster RTE that he and others started clearing the rubble with tractors and trailers before the Irish Coastguard and a specialist rescue team from neighboring Northern Ireland joined the emergency services at the scene. .

“Rubble had been blown across the forecourt to the road. There was everything from tin to blocks, floor slabs, store contents just lying around the place,” he said. he said, adding that one person had been pulled out alive.

“About 20 seconds after landing at the scene, we knew what was in store for us.”

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Reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Catherine Evans and Jane Merriman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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