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Ireland gas station explosion leaves at least 7 dead, more injured and missing: ‘Very traumatic situation’

A gas station explosion in a small village in northwest Ireland on Saturday left at least seven people dead and more injured, local police said.

Authorities confirmed another four people died overnight following an explosion destroyed the Applegreen service station in Creeslough, County Donegal, adding to the initial three that were reported dead from the explosion.

At least eight people were injured and are being treated in area hospitals, police said. An unknown number of people are still unaccounted for. 

Emergency services work at the scene of an explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, Ireland, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. 

Emergency services work at the scene of an explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, Ireland, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. 
(Brian Lawless/PA via AP)

The blast also damaged nearby buildings.

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Police are continuing to conduct “search and recovery” operations in the surrounding area to locate those who are still missing.

“The search and recovery for further fatalities continues,” An Garda Siochana, Ireland’s national police service, said in a statement.

“Gardaí and Emergency Services remain at the scene of an ongoing serious incident in Creeslough, Co. Donegal,” the police service added in a separate statement. “Traffic diversions remain in place this morning. Road users intending to travel to the Creeslough area are asked to consider alternative routes, until informed otherwise.”

Emergency services work at the scene of an explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, Ireland, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. 

Emergency services work at the scene of an explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, Ireland, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. 
(Brian Lawless/PA via AP)

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Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin described the explosion and subsequent loss of life as a “very traumatic situation” and one of 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.

“My thoughts and prayers are tonight with the entire community of Creeslough following today’s devastating explosion,” Martin also said.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - 2022/10/07: Taoiseach of Ireland Micheal Martin in Prague. 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – 2022/10/07: Taoiseach of Ireland Micheal Martin in Prague. 
(Tomas Tkacik/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, who represents Donegal in Ireland’s parliament, said people were left “shocked and numbed” by the incident.

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

The cause of the blast remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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