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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Scot describes Egyptian bombings
Scene of attack at Ghazala Gardens Hotel
The bomb attack ripped through the front of the Ghazala Gardens Hotel
A Scot working in Egypt has described the horror of the bomb attacks which killed at least 83 people and left scores more injured.

Hotelier Fergus Stewart, who is originally from Glasgow, works in Sharm el Sheikh and witnessed the attacks.

The 42-year-old general manager of the Hyatt Regency Hotel described "a scene of carnage" with "bodies littering the streets".


I was out and it was relatively late, maybe 1am, and we had just decided to go home. I parked my car about 600 metres away from the hotel we were in.

There was an enormous, deafening explosion to the extent that our bodies actually shook.

Then there was suddenly a plume of smoke and dust falling on everybody.

At that point everyone made to leave the bar and it was still quite calm at that point. People were obviously thinking it was a bomb but weren't convinced.

Most people then came onto what is a very busy pedestrian precinct. We were walking along there and there was a second explosion.

I've never, ever seen anything like it and I've never been in such a dilemma before when you're just not sure which way to run

When the second explosion went off everyone knew it was a bomb.

Obviously, people began to panic a lot more at that point.

The first explosion I assumed was very close to us as it was that loud and deafening.

It transpires that that explosion was maybe about 600 metres away.

I can't remember ever hearing anything louder.

'Glass blown out'

The second one was only maybe 250 metres from where I was, but I couldn't figure out where.

We were deciding, in a panicked way, which direction to move in. We went in one particular direction up a street which leads to a taxi rank.

It was at that point I realised that is where the bomb had been because the place was littered with bodies.

In the street there is a shopping arcade on one side and all of the glass was blown out.

On the other side there was a taxi rank, at any given time there may be 20 or 30 taxis there, and the majority of taxis had been very badly damaged.

There were about 20 bodies on the road.

'Scene of carnage'

The scene was carnage and there were cars upside down.

Emergency services then began arriving and we weren't sure in which direction to go, so we went back onto the main walking precinct and walked up to where I thought our car was.

My car was parked right next to the Ghazala Gardens Hotel and from 200 metres away, I could tell the front of the hotel had been blown away.

That was obviously the scene of the first explosion.

It was absolutely chaotic and it seems that the blast has taken the front off of the hotel. The sides are still there and surprisingly the roof is still intact.

Blast scene
An Egyptian soldier runs past the scene of one of the bomb attacks

But I'm led to believe from the security people here that this was a car which rammed itself straight through the front door of the hotel.

I've never, ever seen anything like it and I've never been in such a dilemma before when you're just not sure which way to run and aren't sure where the next explosion will come from.

You run within the masses and perhaps there is another bomber who has got this worked out and he's going to blow up more people.

Do you run towards the quieter area? That is what we tried to do, but that is exactly where the second bomb had been.

It's just mass confusion and horror.

Listened to news

This is one of the busiest weekends of the year and Sharm al-Sheikh is a busy destination at the moment, particularly with British tourists.

But in addition to that, it was also an Egyptian holiday this weekend so it was one of the busiest weekends of the year for sure.

All of our staff are safe and we were able to do a head count. We're still trying to determine the situation with our guests and it's a little bit surreal.

Because it happened quite late at night, a number of guests weren't aware of the situation.

Even talking to people round the swimming pool this morning, if they hadn't listened to the news this morning they might not have been aware of it.

It's difficult to establish where all the guests are at any given time. So we're trying to do that at the moment and it looks as though they are all safe.




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