José García Sánchez lived in the Madrid Sur district. For the last three months he had been commuting to his work at the head offices of Bankinter on Calle Goya, catching the train each day at El Pozo station. He was married with two children: Laura, who was about to turn eighteen and Marcos, aged fourteen. Just a month before, the four had been on a trip to London to celebrate his 25 years’ service in the company.
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.