Multiple people injured as major incident is declared after Irish petrol station exploded with customers left trapped under rubble and adjacent apartment collapsing
- Major incident declared after blast at a petrol station in County Donegal at 3pm
- Local reports suggest several people seriously injured in petrol station blast
- Shop at Applegreen, Creeslough and homes above it were pictured hollowed out
- Irish Coast Guard and air ambulance rushed to the site this afternoon
- Emergency services also urged locals to avoid the site if possible
Multiple people have been injured and a major incident has been declared after a petrol station in north-western Ireland exploded, leaving customers trapped in the rubble.
The blast at an Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough, County Donegal also caused adjacent apartment buildings to collapse.
The mayor of Derry city said that the incident, which occurred at around 3pm, was a gas explosion.
Nearby Letterkenny University Hospital has moved to major emergency standby and has appealed to the public not to attend its emergency department unless it is urgent.
Multiple emergency service vehicles are in attendance and a Coastguard helicopter was also providing support. The NI Fire Service, Air Ambulance and paramedics from Northern Ireland have been sent to assist emergency services.
Horror images taken by passersby showed the damage at Applegreen Creeslough around 5pm
Homes above the Ulster petrol station and convenience store were pictured hollowed out by the blast.
Local Gardaí police and the National Ambulance Service (NAS) urged locals to avoid the area.
Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty told RTE News that it was after 3pm when the ‘devastating’ explosion took place that has left ‘a very very dark cloud’ over the community.
‘It ripped right through this building, and this was a very busy location at that point in time,’ he said.
‘There’s just quiet, it’s surreal. People are just holding on for hope, holding on to hear news, positive news coming from the emergency services.’
Local councillor Donal Mandy Kelly said the news was ‘devastating’.
He added: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.’
Rubble covered the ground as members of the public searched the scene for injured people
Independent Donegal councillor John O’Donnell said he was praying there were no fatalities.
‘What we’re hearing is there’s just absolute carnage in Creeslough at the moment, there’s a massive gas explosion,’ he told BBC Radio Ulster.
‘The feedback I’m getting from family and friends who are unfortunately down at the scene and in the area is just that the whole place is chaos at the minute, everybody’s very, very taken back and devastated of what’s happening.’
Fianna Fail councillor Anthony Molloy said it is ‘beyond words’ as he knows the family who own the service station.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved,’ Mr Molloy said.
Emergency services told the public to avoid the area if possible to let crews do their work
‘It looks horrific from what I can see from photographs. It looks terrible. It’s just terrible.
‘I know the family. It’s beyond words.’
An Garda Siochana asked motorists travelling towards Creeslough to consider alternative routes.
The NAS wrote: ‘A number of ambulances are attending the scene of a serious incident at a service station in Creeslough, Co Donegal.
‘Please avoid this area at the moment if possible.’
The Irish Coast Guard added at around 5pm: ‘The Irish Coast Guard is assisting emergency services at the scene of a major incident in Creeslough Co. Donegal.
‘The Sligo based Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 118 and the Mulroy Coast Guard team are assisting the operation.’