As usual, on the morning of 11 March, 2004 Daniel Paz was on his way from Vallecas to the Polytechnic University of Madrid, where he was in the second year of a degree at the National Institute for Physical Education. A keen sports fan, he played for the Club Deportivo Colonia Moscardó. On his bedside table, he left a copy of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” with a blue bookmark. He had nearly finished the book. He died in the fourth carriage of the train that was blown up at El Pozo station at 7.38 am.
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.