Ireland

More than 1,300 lines of inquiry as Creeslough anniversary approaches

The scene of the explosion in the village of Creeslough (Brian Lawless/PA)
The scene of the explosion in the village of Creeslough (Brian Lawless/PA) The scene of the explosion in the village of Creeslough (Brian Lawless/PA)

More than 1,000 lines of inquiry and 900 statements have been taken by gardai since an explosion at an Irish service station killed 10 people a year ago.

Four men, three women and three young people, ranging in ages from five to 59, died in the explosion at a service station in the Co Donegal village of Creeslough on October 7.

Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan-Garwe, Catherine O’Donnell and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan, Jessica Gallagher, Martin McGill, James O’Flaherty, Martina Martin, Hugh Kelly and 14-year-old Leona Harper were all killed in the explosion.

A rescue and recovery effort involved emergency services and members of the community, including a digger driver who was praised by ministers and the victims’ families.

Explosion at Donegal service station
Explosion at Donegal service station A Garda crime scene investigator at the scene in Creeslough (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sympathies were shared from across the world with the tight-knit rural community.

Irish police previously said the incident was being treated as a tragic accident, with a gas leak believed to be one theory.

As the first anniversary of the tragedy approaches, An Garda Siochana said its investigation was continuing “as expeditiously as possible, in the circumstances” to ensure that the circumstances are “professionally investigated”.

Gardai said they had actioned more than 1,350 lines of inquiry and taken in excess of 900 statements.

The investigation is being co-ordinated from Milford Garda station, with support from the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI), Garda Siochana Analysis Service (GSAS) and Garda Technical Bureau.

An Garda Siochana are being assisted by the Health and Safety Authority, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities and the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas (DNV), which specialises in investigating and testing energy systems.

A family liaison team with a dedicated family liaison officer remains in place for each of the victims’ families, gardai said.