One of the rescuers in the County Donegal explosion has told how he pulled three people from the debris before emergency services arrived.

The man, who lives in the small village of Creeslough and did want to be identified, told Sky News he ran to the service station seconds after the blast which left 10 people dead.

He said: “It was so enormous and so loud we didn’t know what it was – we knew there was a risk but we just had to go and help.

“There was one girl under the debris and wrapped in electrical cables who we managed to pull clear.

“I remember her face being swollen but we got her out.

“Another man had fallen down one floor from one of the flats and somehow had a table on top of him – that probably saved his life – he was under it and managed to get out.”

The rescuer was one of a team of locals who did everything they could to help those trapped inside the wreckage of the building before the emergency services arrived in the remote village.

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“I know the guy they have taken to hospital in Dublin,” the man added.

“He had terrible burns – he was conscious though and was asking about his partner who has sadly died.”

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He added: “My own mother had been at the service station 30 seconds before the explosion.

“She thought the tyres had exploded on her car as she drove away but it was obviously much bigger – she’s so lucky.

“I was in there myself an hour before with one of my sons – it just chills you to think how some people have escaped some people have died.”

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has said the entire nation is mourning those killed in the explosion which happened on Friday afternoon.

The victims included teenage rugby player Leona Harper, as well as a girl of primary school age and a teenage boy.

Three men and four women were also killed.