'Dark day for Ireland': 10 people dead after explosion at a Irish service station

8 October 2022, 09:29 | Updated: 8 October 2022, 16:00

Emergency services are searching the rubble after an explosion at a village service station. Picture: Dublin Fire Brigade/Alamy
Emergency services are searching the rubble after an explosion at a village service station. Picture: Dublin Fire Brigade/Alamy. Picture: Picture: Dublin Fire Brigade/Alamy
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Ten people including a young child have been confirmed to have died in a ‘devastating’ explosion at a service station in Ireland.

Four men, three women, a teenage boy and girl and a young child all died in the huge explosion at a petrol station in County Donegal, gardaí said. Another eight people are in hospital.

Sniffer dogs were deployed to comb through the rubble in a desperate search for the missing people.

In an update this afternoon, officials said they are not expecting any further casualties but that search and rescue efforts are continuing in the Co Donegal village of Creeslough.

"Emergency services continue a search and recovery operation at the site this afternoon but based on the information available to An Garda Siochana at this time it is not expected that there will be any further casualties located and there are no outstanding reports of unaccounted for persons," a statement said.

The explosion happened at around 3.15pm yesterday at the Applegreen Service Station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal.

Yesterday three people were confirmed dead with the death toll rising to seven overnight.

Another two people have been found this morning.

Speaking to PA, Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty said: “The rescue and recovery operation went on through the night.

"This explosion not only ripped the heart out of this building, but ripped the heart out of this community and left a huge amount of devastation.

"In the early hours four more bodies were recovered, bringing the overall death toll to seven.

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"There are a number of people still missing and the emergency services are working tirelessly to remove debris and to recover other individuals who may still be in that building."

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has described "a dark day for Ireland".

"Our hearts & prayers go out to all impacted & the community of Creeslough," he tweeted.

"We are so thankful to all emergency services and our friends from NI who have been so helpful in such difficult circumstances."

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, has spoken about his shock of the ‘terrible tragedy’.

"May I, as president, express what I know will be the shock shared by all people throughout the country on learning of the terrible tragedy which has unfolded in Creeslough, Co Donegal," he said.

"All of our thoughts must go out to all of those who have been affected. Those who have received news of the loss of a loved one, those injured and, most of all, those who are waiting with anxiety for news of their loved ones.

"This tragedy is a terrible blow to a community that is closely knit and where every loss and injury will be felt by every member of the community and far beyond.

"Special tribute must be paid to those members of the local community and emergency services across the island who have reacted so swiftly to the scene of the explosion and have continued to work through the night.

"All of our best thoughts and prayers go to those who have lost their lives and their families."