Beatriz, aged nine, and her sister Adriana, aged four, had made a cardboard book to give to their father, Esteban Martín de Benito, for Father’s Day. The elder of the two girls was due to make her First Communion in a few months. Esteban would have turned forty on 30 April, the same age as his wife, Nieves. Esteban (or El Chache, as he was known locally), was unable to celebrate any of these events. On the morning of 11 March he ran to Santa Eugenia station to catch the suburban train to the firm he ran in the Nuevos Ministerios district of Madrid. He was killed in the explosions at Atocha station.
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.