MADRID, Spain – As the wails of sirens faded, a stream of families began quietly arriving at Gregorio Maranon Hospital (search) on Thursday, searching for their loved ones after the worst terrorist attack in Spanish history.
Parking outside the dour, gray seven-story building, they followed makeshift signs saying "Families" pointing around the back. Some came out looking relieved. Others wept as they got back into their cars and headed across Madrid to a makeshift morgue at a trade fair building outside the city.
"This is where the tragedy continues," hospital medic Juan Carlos Gil said as relatives huddled in groups, clutching each other.
The bombings of Spanish commuter trains and stations killed more than 190 people and wounded at least 1,400. More than 1,300 emergency workers were mobilized across the Spanish capital to cope with the dead and injured.
Inside the Gregorio Maranon Hospital, family members consulted a list of the 230 injured people admitted to the hospital. If their relatives' names were not on the list, the families were shown a database of the injured held at nine other hospitals across Madrid.
Counselors were on hand to help the grieving.
Staff at Gregorio Maranon Hospital were said to be working double shifts without breaks. Doctors left the building looking exhausted.
More than 100 ambulances brought in the wounded. Some arrived in private cars after being picked up by passers-by.
After the blasts, thousands of people across Spain responded to a government plea for blood donations. So many came that hospitals had to turn some away.
The royal family and government officials visited the injured at hospitals throughout the day.
As two government ministers left the October 12 Hospital in Madrid (search), a crowd of about 40 people incensed by the attacks shouted, "Next time leave (the terrorists) to us! A shot in the back of the head!"
At the sprawling building where the temporary morgue was set up, 40 forensics experts (search) worked to identify bodies and bags of remains.