A few hours after it was confirmed that Rodolfo Benito had been killed at Santa Eugenia station, his girlfriend of seven years, Ana, wrote him a letter, saying: “You leave the most terrible hole that someone who was number one in everything can leave”. That morning, Rodolfo Benito had been on his way to the company Ghesa, where he worked as an engineer designing thermal power plants. However, he was preparing to sit civil service exams to become a maths teacher. He died on the train that was blown up at Santa Eugenia 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.