Saúl Valdés Ruiz had been living in Spain for twelve years, having left his native Honduras in search of a brighter future. Little by little he had managed to bring over his wife and four of his children, with whom he lived in the Vallecas district of Madrid. He also sent money back to his other four children who were still in Honduras. On the morning of 11 March, his car had broken down, so he went to El Pozo station to take the train to work as a building labourer.
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 blast killed one of the officers, bringing the total number of people killed by the 11 March killers to 192.