According to Irish authorities, there have been at least nine fatalities following an explosion at a gas station in the Irish county of Donegal. Search and rescue operations are still ongoing.
On the borders of the village of Creeslough, near the Applegreen gas station, an explosion occurred just after 3 p.m. local time (1400 GMT). On Saturday morning, the police reported that eight more persons were being treated in hospitals. The explosion’s cause has not been addressed.
Photos from the scene revealed a residential unit above the gas station’s store with walls blown out and a roof that was only partially intact, as well as debris was strewn across the forecourt where many automobiles were parked.
According to a police statement, “the search and recovery for other fatalities continue.”
The occurrence, according to Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, was tragic for the small hamlet of only a few hundred people.
Pearse Doherty, a local Sinn Fein lawmaker, claimed at the scene on Friday that individuals were still trapped inside the building hours after the “huge explosion” that could be heard for miles around. Some of the trapped persons had made touch with the rescue services outside.
He said that the gas station, which also served as the village’s lone grocery store and post office, would have been extremely busy at that time, especially on Fridays after school.
A professional rescue crew was dispatched to the location from adjacent Northern Ireland, according to the Irish Coast Guard, and its nearby helicopter helped the emergency services.