Paula Mihaela Sfeatcu had been living in Spain for barely nine months. Aged 27 and originally from Romania, she had come to Spain with her boyfriend in search of a better future. They lived in Entrevías, in a house full of plants and flowers, and she had found work cleaning in a number of homes in Madrid. On 11 March 2004, she took the train to go to work in Majadahonda. She was killed 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.