The 11 March attacks put paid to all of Miguel Ángel’s plans. He had almost finished his apartment and was about to move in with his girlfriend, whom he had been dating for 16 years. Meanwhile, he was still living with his mother and his siblings in the Valdilecha district, in the southeast of Madrid. From there he took the suburban train each day to go to work as a mechanic in the central factory of Deutz Iberia, in Tres Cantos, Madrid.
On the train, he used to read about mechanics, his great passion. He was a specialist in diesel tractor engines and loved signing up for training courses. His family were informed of his fate by telephone.
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.