The balance of the explosion is devastating: the number of dead after a fire at a petrol station in County Donegal, Ireland, has now risen to ten. All directions are still being determined, but everything currently points to a “tragic accident” as the cause, the police said on Saturday. All ten of the dead were from the village of Creeslough, in Donegal County, where the blast occurred.
On the day of the accident - last Friday - there were initially three deaths, later seven deaths. Several people are said to have been taken to hospitals with injuries. According to reports, other people were still missing, but survivors are no longer expected.
The rescue workers, who rushed in in large numbers, were presented with a picture of destruction in the small village of Creeslough. The gas station and several adjacent buildings were partially badly damaged, as can be seen in photos.
A local resident told the BBC the explosion sounded like a "bomb". Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, who represents North East Donegal in the Irish Parliament, compared the images to events during the Northern Ireland conflict.
"The scenes from the event are reminiscent of the images of the riots years ago," the minister told Irish broadcaster RTE. The 400-inhabitant town of Creeslough is about 50 kilometers from the border with Northern Ireland.
Ireland's Prime Minister Michael Martin expressed his condolences to the relatives and those affected. Irish President Michael D. Higgins called the incident a "tragedy that comes as a terrible blow to a close-knit community where every loss and hurt is felt by everyone and far beyond."