December 9, 2023

The death toll from a gas station explosion in a small village in northwestern Ireland rose to nine on Saturday, as emergency personnel searched through piles of rubble for people still missing.

– Advertisement –

Irish police said they did not expect anyone to survive Friday’s blast in Crislow, County Donegal. Eight people have been hospitalized after an explosion at an Applegreen service station in a community of about 400 people near Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast.

– Advertisement –

“The search and recovery of further deaths is on,” said Police Force En Garda Ciochana. The cause of the explosion is being investigated.

Ireland and neighboring Northern Ireland’s emergency responder police were now involved in a “search and recovery” operation. Sniffer dogs combed through the rubble, and a mechanical excavator lifted the rubble pile from the site.

– Advertisement –

The explosion leveled the gas station building, which houses the main shop and post office for the village, damaged an adjacent apartment building and shattered windows in nearby cottages.

“The blocks were thrown a hundred yards from the scene,” local doctor Dr. Paul Stewart told Irish broadcaster RTE. “The whole front of the building collapsed… and the roof of the first floor collapsed in the shop. It’s a miracle he got someone out.”

Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said it was “one of the darkest days for Donegal and the country as a whole.”

“The people of this island will be as numb at this tragic loss of life as the people of Creslow with a sense of shock and utter devastation,” Martin said.

See also  Stocks Moving the Most Today: Apple, Alibaba, Tesla, and More

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConaughey, representing Donegal in the Parliament of Ireland, said the service station was famous across the country because of its prominent position on the area’s main N56 road, and was the “heart” of the local community.

“People are shocked and shocked,” he told Irish broadcaster RTE. “People are rallying together and everyone’s concern is with the families of those who have lost loved ones and how they can support them.”

Another local legislator, Piers Doherty, said the full impact of the tragedy had yet to subside.

“(It) is something that no one ever thought could happen in such a small village where everyone knows each other,” he said. “Yesterday at 3.30 pm, children were coming out of school, people were going to collect their welfare payments. For such a nightmare to occur, it will take some time to sink in. ,