10 dead in gas station explosion in Ireland, officials say
By Amanda Holpuch
Police in Ireland said 10 people were killed and eight people injured after an explosion Friday afternoon at a gas station in a small village near the Atlantic coast.
David Kelly, superintendent of the Milford police district, said at a news conference Saturday that officials were still investigating the cause of the explosion in Creeslough, County Donegal, but that the information obtained so far suggested it was a “tragic accident.”
The explosion happened at an Applegreen gas station in Creeslough, which is about 105 miles northwest of Belfast and home to about 740 people.
The victims included a girl, teenage boy, teenage girl, three women and four men, police said. Police did not provide the names or ages of the victims but said they were all from the area.
A search-and-recovery operation ended Saturday, police said in an emailed statement.
J.J. McGowan, chief ambulance officer in the western region of Ireland’s national health service, said seven of the injured had been taken to a hospital and were in stable condition. An eighth person, who was in critical condition, was taken to a hospital in Dublin, McGowan said at news conference.
Garry Martin, director of emergency services for the Donegal County Council, said the explosion “substantially damaged” a building and that there were displaced and broken concrete slabs at the site.
Applegreen founder and CEO Joe Barrett said there was a post office and supermarket in the village’s Applegreen station. “Today we mourn those who have lost their lives alongside the entire country,” Barrett said in a statement.
In a statement Saturday, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin shared his condolences with the loved ones of the victims and called it the “darkest of days for Donegal and the entire country.”
“People across this island will be numbed by the same sense of shock and utter devastation as the people of Creeslough at this tragic loss of life,” he said.