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Members of the Civil Defence clear debris at the scene of an explosion at an Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, where ten people have now been confirmed dead. PA

Gardaí believe that the cause of the Creeslough blast was a 'tragic accident'

Gardaí held a briefing to update the public on their progress at the scene today.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Oct 2022

GARDAÍ BELIEVE THAT the cause of the Creeslough blast was “a tragic accident”. 

Ten people have been killed in the blast – that is made up of four men, three women, a teenage boy and a girl, and one five-year-old girl.

Sources have told The Journal that investigators believe the blast was caused by a gas leak inside the building, but emergency services did not comment on the matter when asked at this afternoon’s briefing. 

Superintendent David Kelly of Milford Garda Station said that at present gardaí believe that it was an accidental blast. 

The Superintendent, speaking at a press briefing at Milford Garda Station, said that gardaí were continuing to follow a number of lines of investigation. 

Forensic science experts from the National Technical Bureau have travelled from Dublin and were examining the scene and gardaí said it will take a number of days. 

“The investigation will determine the exact cause of the accident,” he said.

Overnight, rescue workers from Donegal Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service carried out work to clear debris, with a team from Northern Ireland assisting.

The incident occurred in the Creeslough area of Donegal at around 3.15pm yesterday.

Paul Harper, Deputy Chief Fire and Rescue Officer with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service sent a specialist team to the scene from Belfast. 

“This is a tragic time for the people and community of Creeslough and the surrounding areas.  

“On behalf of Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of those who have lost their lives in yesterday’s devastating incident. 

“Our thoughts remain with those who have been injured and the community as they recover and grieve. We are also thinking of our colleagues in Donegal Fire Service who led this response and the other emergency responders who assisted at the scene,” he said. 

The NIFRS rescue team were deployed at 5:09pm on Friday along with a Command Support Unit from Strabane to the incident. 

“Using specialist search and rescue equipment, Firefighters worked with other emergency services into the early hours of the morning in the hope of rescuing survivors trapped in the rubble.

“Working in partnership with our colleagues from Donegal Fire Service and with multiple statutory and voluntary organisations, this was a significant multi-agency and cross border response effort,” he said.

NIFRS have left the area but will continue to be available to support Donegal Fire Service.

We’ll have updates on developments this evening in our liveblog here.

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