'A devastating loss': Tributes continue as Creeslough death toll rises to 10

'A devastating loss': Tributes continue as Creeslough death toll rises to 10

TRIBUTES have continued to pour in for the victims of a petrol station explosion in Creeslough, Co. Donegal as the number of fatalities was confirmed as 10.

One of the victims has been named locally as teenager Leona Harper, who played for Letterkenny Rugby Club's Under-14 girls' team.

"There are no words that feel strong enough at a moment of deep sorrow such as this," the club said in a statement.

The other victims of Friday's explosion at an Applegreen service station include a younger girl, a teenage boy, four men and three women

Eight people injured at the scene remain in hospital, while gardaí say everyone has now been accounted for.

Politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea have offered their condolences to those affected by the incident.

Like her Irish counterpart, British Prime Minister Liz Truss offered her sympathies to those who lost loved ones in the incident.

'Horrific tragedy'

"I am shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life in Donegal," she said.

"My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones, and to the entire community of Creeslough as they come together in their moment of grief."

Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, praised those who came to the aid of the injured.

"Thinking of those killed in the horrific tragedy in Donegal, their families and their friends," he tweeted.

"People bravely rushing to the scene to help shows the type of community Creeslough is.

Two women console one another at the scene of the tragedy (Image: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"On behalf of the Labour Party, I want to express our condolences and shared sorrow."

His words were echoed by local priest Fr Joe Duffy at a special Mass on Saturday night, where he praised the community for how they have reacted to the tragedy.

"The strength of our community will carry us," he told mourners at St Mchael's Church in Creeslough.

'Incredible sorrow'

Among those gathered at the church was Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who earlier described the tragedy as 'a devastating loss' that has shocked the nation.

"We send love and solidarity to the people of Creeslough who this morning woke to incredible sorrow," she said.

"I want to pay tribute to the emergency services who worked through the night and to the community who acted so quickly to help those affected.

"This is a devastating loss for a small community. There is shock right across the island and among Irish people everywhere.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Taoiseach Micheál Martin at Creeslough last night (Image: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"We are all holding our loved ones a little closer and a little tighter this morning.

"We are thinking of those who went to a petrol station on a Friday afternoon but didn't come home.

"We are all standing in solidarity with the community in Creeslough in the difficult hours that lie ahead.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha."