Sylvie Claire / October 7, 2022
Ten people, including two teenagers and a girl, were killed in a gas station explosion in a village in northwestern Ireland, Irish police said Saturday.
The explosion occurred on Friday shortly before 3:20 p.m. in the village of Creeslough. “It killed ten people,” a police official said at a press conference. They are four men, three women, two teenagers (a boy and a girl) and a girl, of elementary school age, he detailed.
“No other victims are expected,” added the official. There is no information on missing persons.
The information we have at the moment points to a tragic accident,” he said, seeming to rule out the possibility of a voluntary act. But the police are keeping an “open mind”.
An aerial photograph taken after the blast shows the gas station building destroyed. Two two-story residential buildings behind it collapsed.
Emergency services, accompanied by sniffer dogs to search for victims, worked throughout the night. Rubble was still being collected on Saturday.
Irish police, fire, ambulance and coastguard services were on site. They were supported by the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance Service and a team of specialists from the British province on Saturday.
Letterkenny University Hospital, located 24 kilometers from the gas station, was placed on emergency standby.
In a statement, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said his “thoughts and prayers today are with those who lost their lives and those who were injured in this devastating explosion.
Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, who is an elected member of the Irish parliament from the area hit by the blast, compared the scenes of devastation to those of the Northern Irish conflict in the second half of the 20th century.
“The scenes of the event are reminiscent of the images of the +Troubles+ years ago, in terms of the damage and debris. »
For three decades, the Northern Ireland conflict pitted nationalists, mainly Catholics, in favour of the reunification of the island of Ireland, against loyalists, mainly Protestants, who were attached to keeping the province under the British crown. The conflict resulted in approximately 3,500 deaths.
The village of Creeslough, which is about 50 km from the border with Northern Ireland, has a population of about 400.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who died, those who were injured and the entire community of Creeslough,” tweeted the company Applegreen, which owns the gas station hit by the explosion.