- 10 Oct 22
An explosion at a Creeslough petrol station on Friday, October 7, has left 10 dead and 8 injured, with weeks of funerals expected to take place.
Technical examinations are set to continue in Creeslough, Co Donegal, today, following Friday's explosion at a service station which claimed ten lives.
The ten people, including three children, who died in the explosion at the Applegreen Service Station and apartment block have been named as: Catherine O'Donnell, 39, and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan; Robert Garwe, 50, and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe; 14-year-old Leona Harper; Jessica Gallagher, 24; James O'Flaherty, 48; Martin McGill, 49; Martina Martin, 49, and 59-year-old Hugh Kelly.
Gardaí have said the investigation to determine the cause of the explosion will take some time.
The body of budding young fashion designer, 24-year-old Jessica Gallagher, was the first to return to Creeslough last night. Later today, the remains of James O'Flaherty will be removed from Letterkenny, with his funeral taking place on Wednesday.
The funeral of Martin McGill will take place tomorrow at 2pm in St Michael's Church in Creeslough town, and the funeral of James O'Flaherty, from Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, will take place on Wednesday in St Mary's Church, Doirí Beaga.
Today, Monday, October 10, sees the beginning of an incredibly difficult week for the families of the deceased and the close knit Creeslough community, with funeral after funeral taking place.
Yesterday, numerous vigils were held across Donegal, with communities expressing their condolences and solidarity with those at the heart of this heartbreaking incident. This evening at Guild Hall, Derry. a candle lit vigil will be held, with a book of condolences opening this afternoon.
Pope Francis has relayed his sympathies to those suffering following the tragic explosion.
In a message to the Bishop of Raphoe, the Pope said he was saddened to learn of the loss of life and the destruction caused by the blast in the village.
The statement read: "His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the loss of life and destruction caused by the explosion in Creeslough and he expresses his spiritual closeness to all those suffering in the aftermath of this tragedy.
"While entrusting the deceased to the merciful love of almighty god, His Holiness implores the divine blessings of consolation and healing upon the injured, the displaced and the families coping with pain of loss.
"As a pledge of strength and peace in the lord, the Holy Father sends his blessing to all the people of Ireland."
An Post has also launched a support fund nationwide, where members of the public can donate in any An Post office, from today.
Eight people were hospitalised following the explosion, with a man in his 20s remaining in a critical condition in St James's Hospital, Dublin.
The seven others are said to be in a stable condition at at Letterkenny University Hospital.
LUH is also the scene of post-mortem examinations taking place on those who passed in the explosion, under the direction of Assistant State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers. The examinations are expected to continue over the next few days.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar visited Letterkenny University Hospital yesterday to meet those injured in the explosion. They were accompanied by Minister for Agriculture and Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue.
Gardaí continue their investigation into the cause of the blast, but so far the evidence is pointing towards a tragic accident. Donegal Gardaí also said that emergency services do not expect any more casualties at the scene of the incident and that no one else is unaccounted for.
Emergency services were on the scene within ten minutes of the explosion, which occurred around 3.20pm.
On the scene were huge concrete blocks, debris and rubble where the building that once contained a shop, hairdressers and a number of apartments stood.
The Irish Coast Guard, the Coast Guard rescue helicopter 118, Irish Air Corps 112, the Northern Ireland Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Northern Ireland Search and Rescue, Donegal Mountain Rescue, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service heart team, Donegal County Council Civil Defence as well as dozens of people from the community in Creeslough assisted with the intense rescue operation.