AYYAT, Egypt – Survivors flooded into this rural Egyptian town's hospital, injured and burdened with tales of horror from their ordeal aboard a burning train that left 373 dead.
Among screams, thick smoke and charred bodies Said Fuad Amin lost track of his six friends in the mayhem and quickly realized that his chances at survival were slim.
"I found a broken window, I thought of jumping from it, I felt I was going to die anyway, so I jumped," said the tearful 22-year-old construction worker, his head swathed in bloody bandages.
Amin was among the first batch of 40 injured passengers from the Luxor-bound train brought to the Ayyat Hospital. In all, 65 people were injured in a fire.
Riot police surrounded the hospital in case of trouble. Reporters and grieving relatives were allowed through the cordon.
Ayyat Hospital's morgue filled up quickly, with bodies placed on the floor as well as its shelves. By mid-afternoon, the morgue was turning away ambulances carrying the dead from the charred train parked on tracks 12 miles away.
A hospital official said at least 50 bodies, most burned beyond recognition, were brought to the hospital.
Adel Hassan Fadlallah, 21, said he started to smell smoke aboard the train at about 1 a.m. Smoke soon filled his carriage, sending panic stricken passengers running toward windows.
Fadlallah threw himself to safety from a broken window. His brother and cousin have also been taken to hospital, but his brother-in-law remained missing.
Farag Zaki Farag, a 30-year-old construction worker from the Egyptian city of Assiut, said he saw corpses piled underneath carriage chairs.
"I saw bodies being placed in ambulances, most were burned beyond recognition," said Farag, who suffered third degree burns and concussion.
Ambulances ferried the most seriously injured and burned to Cairo's Al Kasr Al-Aini Hospital. There, Dr. Baher Adib said nine passengers arrived suffering from head injuries and fractures. Most also had second-degree burns. One of the nine was in serious condition, but the rest were stable.