Donegal blast: Seven killed in petrol station explosion as death toll rises

Seven people have now been confirmed dead after an explosion at a petrol station in Ireland.

The death toll rose overnight after an explosion rocked a petrol station and nearby buildings in County Donegal on Friday.

Police confirmed four more deaths on Saturday morning. Three people died the previous day.

“The investigation and recovery into further fatalities continues,” An Garda Siochana said in a statement.

The Irish prime minister said the death toll was “shocking” but expected the number to rise even further.

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Police said eight people were taken to hospital for medical treatment after the explosion on Friday.

People in Ireland are “shocked and numb” after the deadly explosion in the north-west, according to a local politician.

The explosion ripped through the Applegreen petrol station and convenience store in the village of Creeslough in County Donegal on Friday afternoon. Neighboring buildings were also damaged by the explosion.

A major emergency response operation ensued involving teams from both sides of the Irish border. It lasted through the night and emergency services continued to work at the scene on Saturday morning.

Emergency services are continuing their work at the scene of the explosion at Applegreen petrol station


Sniffer dogs are used inside the ruins.

Relatives of people believed to be in buildings at the time of the explosion rushed to the scene on Friday.

At one point, all machinery was turned off and spectators were asked to remain completely silent as rescue crews tried to locate survivors under the wreckage.

The cause of the explosion has not been revealed.

Michael Martin, the Irish prime minister, said he expected the death toll to rise even further.

He said seven confirmed deaths were a “shocking number”, but added that “there will be more”.

The explosion caused damage to nearby buildings


“It’s a search operation now and we’re hoping and praying,” the prime minister said on Saturday. “It was a very, very terrible 24 hours for them as the news of this explosion arrived.

He added: “A lot of families are going through and going through a terrible trauma at this time and we have to pull together and I know the community will pull together, I know all the people close to the community who will pull together.”

Mr Martin said the whole nation was grieving for the people of Creeslough.

Emergency services rushed to the scene after the explosion at the gas station


“It’s absolutely devastating and quite shocking in terms of the magnitude of this tragedy, the scale of it. An explosion that hit the normality of a community, with people going to the shop, the normal grind of life,” he told RTE Radio 1.

Charlie McConalogue, the TD for Donegal, said on Saturday people were “shocked and numb” by the events.

“The scenes from the incident are reminiscent of images from the Troubles years ago, in terms of the scene on the ground and the damage and debris,” the minister told Irish broadcaster RTE.

Police have updated the death toll from the explosion in County Donegal


“People have come together and everyone is concerned about the families of those who have lost loved ones and how they can support them in the days ahead.

“The work that went on overnight by the emergency services, who have a very challenging job, deserves a huge amount of respect.”

Mr McConalogue described Creeslough as a “small, close-knit” community.

“It is also well known in the county,” he added. “It’s on the main N56 route which runs right around our county, so many people pass through it and the shop is well known and the heart of this community.”

Additional reporting from the Press Association

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