“Serious injuries” and fears of people stranded after an explosion at a service station in Ireland | world news

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Serious injuries have been reported after what was believed to be a gas explosion at a petrol station in Ireland.

The blast happened just after 3pm at the Applegreen petrol station on the outskirts of Creeslough, Co Donegal.

Paramedics, a Coast Guard helicopter and a Coast Guard team were among those dispatched to the scene.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said it was assisting fire crews from the Donegal Fire Service during a “declared major incident”.

Photos showed a number of cars damaged by debris, with what appears to be a building behind the forecourt having been largely destroyed.

There are also growing fears that people may be trapped in the wreckage, with sniffer dogs being used in search efforts.

Councilor John O’Donnell told Sky News: ‘I know there have been serious injuries, and it’s just a very sad incident.

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Mr O’Donnell said an air ambulance picked up “a number of parties”, adding: “It’s very, very difficult here in a small rural village.

“Everyone is completely numb here – we’re just in shock.”

A spokesperson for Letterkenny University Hospital said it is “facing a serious incident, with several injuries requiring immediate attention”.

“The hospital has moved to Major Emergency Standby as it processes this incident.

“We urge the public not to go to the emergency department unless it is an emergency.”

Retailer Forecourt Applegreen has confirmed there has been a “serious incident” at one of its dealer-operated stores.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the entire community of Creeslough tonight following today’s devastating explosion.

“I’m also thinking of all the emergency services, from all over the northwest and NI working in a very traumatic situation.”

Residents were asked to stay away from the area.

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