Ángel Pardillos had been working at the Bank of Spain for over thirty years and was planning his retirement. He hoped to spend more time in his home town, Manchones (Zaragoza), as well as going hunting and fishing and spending more time with his three grandchildren. Each morning, he took the suburban train at Santa Eugenia station. On the night of 10 March 2004 his son asked him to phone him the following morning at 8.00 am. He was unable to make the call. His body was identified by the watch he had received from the bank for thirty years’ service.
11 March 2004 fell on a Thursday. Early that morning, a number of terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda planted thirteen bombs on four suburban trains covering routes running through Madrid. Ten of the bombs exploded between 7.37 and 7.39 am, when the trains were at Atocha, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia stations and alongside Calle Téllez. 191 people were killed in the attack and around 1,500 were wounded. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Spanish history. On 3 April 2004, agents from the Special Operations Group (GEO) were about to enter an apartment in Leganés where the perpetrators of the attacks were believed to be hiding when the terrorists detonated twenty kilograms of explosives in an act of collective suicide. The ensuing blast killed one of the officers, bringing the total number of people killed by the 11 March bombers to 192.