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Home » Death toll from Irish petrol station blast rises to nine – Salisbury Journal

Death toll from Irish petrol station blast rises to nine – Salisbury Journal

The death toll from an explosion at an Irish petrol station has risen to nine and the search for further fatalities is ongoing.
A search and recovery operation is continuing in the village of Creeslough, Co Donegal, as dozens of rescue workers try to locate several people who are still missing.
Hot drinks, water and food were handed out to members of the emergency services and the media as search and recovery efforts continued.
A local garda was seen comforting a woman in tears as she was led towards the scene.
Friday afternoon’s blast ripped through the Applegreen service station and convenience store and adjacent buildings.
Having announced three fatalities on Friday night, the Irish police force, An Garda Siochana, confirmed a further four deaths on Saturday morning and another two just before midday, bringing the total to nine.
The force said: “Emergency services remain at the scene in a search and recovery phase of this operation.
“An Garda Siochana can now confirm nine fatalities as a result of this incident. The search and recovery for further fatalities continues.”
Eight people were transferred to hospital on Friday.
The Garda has not provided any information on the suspected cause of the explosion.
A major emergency response operation involving first responders from both sides of the Irish border extended through the night.
Tractors continued to transport rubble away, as members of the community gathered at the edge of the cordon.
Two rescue workers were on a raised platform above the site of the explosion and a digger was working through the debris on Friday.
Sniffer dogs were being used amid the rubble.
At one point on Friday night all machinery was turned off and onlookers were asked to remain silent as rescue workers attempted to detect survivors beneath the debris.
Applegreen founder and chief executive Joe Barrett said the company was “utterly shocked and saddened” by the “tragic” incident in Creeslough.
Mr Barrett said: “Yesterday was a very dark day for Creeslough, for Donegal, for Ireland, and for all of us in the wider Applegreen family.
“This is a hugely tragic event, and I would like to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased, and to the entire community in Creeslough.
“We are utterly shocked and saddened at what happened yesterday. I would also like to offer our thanks to the emergency services and first responders who are dealing with the incident.
“We have been working with our local partners in Creeslough since 2014. We are providing them with assistance and support locally at this very difficult time.”
Statement by President Michael D. Higgins following the terrible tragedy in Creeslough, Co Donegal
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) October 8, 2022
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins expressed his shock at the “terrible tragedy”.
“All of our thoughts must go out to all of those who have been affected,” he said.
“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.”
Irish premier Micheal Martin said that he will visit the village of Creeslough.
My thoughts and prayers are tonight with the entire community of Creeslough following today’s devastating explosion.
Thinking too of all the emergency services, from across the north-west and NI working in very traumatic situation.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) October 7, 2022
“I think the entire nation is shocked at what has happened, it’s an unspeakable tragedy,” he told reporters in Cork.
“Our thoughts and our payers, our hearts go out to the people of Creeslough, to the families of those who have lost their lives and who have been injured, and to the entire community who are numbed and shocked by what has happened.
“It’s very very difficult to comprehend as people go about their daily lives, that something like this could happen in the middle of the day.
“It’s been extraordinarily difficult and traumatic for people as they’ve had long waits, huge anxiety and stress, waiting for news of their loved ones.”
The Taoiseach pledged supports for the community in Creeslough to help get through the “enormous trauma”.
He also paid tribute to the emergency services personnel including those from Northern Ireland who “at times in danger” rescued people and did everything they could to comfort people.
“That will be long remembered,” he said.
“That solidarity and that sense of strong community between the essential services.”
Donegal TD Pearse Doherty, who was at the scene on Saturday morning, said there were a number of people missing.
He told the PA news agency: “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.
“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.”
Tragic scene at Creeslough, Co Donegal, on Saturday morning where it is now confirmed seven people have died following an explosion
— Jonny McCambridge (@McCambridgeJ) October 8, 2022
Agriculture Minister and Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue, speaking from the scene of the blast, said: “It has been a very difficult time overnight as the emergency services have worked their way through the rubble.
“It is a really challenging, traumatic situation here in Creeslough. There is real devastation here in this local community.”
Prayers were said in the local church in Creeslough on Saturday morning for all those suffering.
The congregation at St Michael’s Church heard there was a “tsunami” of grief in the community.
Fr John Joe Duffy said: “From our hearts, with all our hearts and with all our souls, we pray for those who have died, we pray for those who were injured, we pray for all who were involved… we pray for those who are there continuing to help and have helped since yesterday.
“We pray also for those family members who are bereaved and we pray for those who still are waiting news.
“We keep them all very much in our hearts.”
On Friday night a coast guard helicopter airlifted some of those who were injured in the blast from Letterkenny University Hospital to Dublin.
Northern Ireland’s air ambulance was also deployed, as were fire crews and ground ambulances from the region.
Letterkenny hospital appealed to the public not to attend its emergency department unless it was urgent.
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