It had been six months since Sergio Dos Santos (28) had left behind his wife, Sara, and their four-year-old son, Miquéia, in Brazil. He came to Spain hoping to find a good job that would allow him to provide a better life for his family. He was a Catholic and a regular mass-goer and prayed that he would be able to fulfil his dreams. His prayers were answered when he got a job as a site foreman with a monthly salary of 800 euros. He promised his son that he would bring him back a toy truck when he returned to Brazil. Sergio Dos Santos was killed on the train that was blown up at EL Pozo station. His body was repatriated to Brazil on 17 March.
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.