Church leader asks for prayer after 10 killed in Irish petrol station explosion
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe is asking people to pray for the injured and bereaved after a petrol station exploded in County Donegal, killing at least 10, including children.
The blast tore through an Applegreen service station and convenience store in the village of Creeslough on Friday afternoon, sparking a major search.
Local police said the victims are a young girl, a teenage boy, a teenage girl, four men and three women.
Bishop Andrew Forster called the explosion a "terrible tragedy" that would scar the community for years to come.
He said his thoughts and prayers were with everyone affected.
"The community there will be scarred by this incident for many years to come," he said.
"I ask people to keep the bereaved and injured in their prayers, and to remember, too, members of the emergency services – and the people of Creeslough – who have been doing their utmost to save lives.
"We, as a community, owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.
"It is essential that the cause of Friday afternoon's explosion is established as quickly as possible and that every effort is made to prevent a recurrence."
Shocked locals attended a service in memory of the victims at St Michael's Church, Creeslough, on Saturday morning.
Fr John Joe Duffy asked members of the community to help each other through the difficult weeks ahead.
"From our hearts, with all our hearts and with all our souls, we pray for those who have died, we pray for those who were injured, we pray for all who were involved ... we pray for those who are there continuing to help and have helped since yesterday," he said.
"We pray also for those family members who are bereaved and we pray for those who still are waiting news.
"We keep them all very much in our hearts."
He added, "Let us pray god's peace in all our hearts and all our souls and for those suffering most this morning."
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said the scale of the tragedy was "devastating".
"People across this island will be numbed by the same sense of shock and utter devastation as the people of Creeslough at this tragic loss of life," he said.
"I would like to thank all the members of the emergency services, from across the North-West and Northern Ireland, who responded so quickly to the scene, and who are working throughout the night in extremely traumatic circumstances."