[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 14:55 GMT
'The day my wife was snatched away'
Vigil for victims in Barcelona
Vigils were held for the victims across Spain
One of the people who died in the train bombings in Madrid on Thursday was a 37-year-old woman, Pilar Cabreza Buria.

Her husband, Jesus Antonio Munoz, buried her on Saturday after sitting by her coffin in vigil over Friday night.

He told BBC Today reporter John Manell about the excruciating discovery of her death.

Early Thursday morning, my sister called me and I put on the television.

I suspected straight away that something could have happened to my wife because the time of her train coincided with what happened.

You can never be completely sure because there is always some hope left. But I knew the probability would be high. I can't describe it but I had a dreadful feeling.

I started watching television at 0800 in the morning. By 0930 I was completely consumed by the fear that my wife had died.

But you don't lose hope. You keep struggling to find out.

The search

We were looking in all the hospitals during all that day and all the night. Myself and the people who were with me - I was accompanied by three people from the Spanish television channel where I work and Telefonica, the company where my wife worked - we set ourselves the task of trying to find her by phone, trying to find out where she was.

We couldn't find her anywhere.

In all this it's a terrible feeling - not to know anything, not to know whether or not you might have to go and identify or collect the corpse of your wife.

During the night in the room where we were waiting there was a certain protocol. I didn't realise what was going on at first, but little by little it dawned on me.

Each time they were about to tell a family bad news, a counsellor came alongside them to help. They were giving out tranquillisers. And that was how I was to find out my wife was dead.

The end

At a little past 0800, I called emergency services and gave her name. The person who answered the phone was very nervous. She directed me to the place where the doctors would have more information.

Minutes later, they offered me a pill. And then, although I didn't say anything to any of my family, I was absolutely convinced that my wife was dead. That was it. The end.

I've always thought the same about terrorism - in Madrid as much as anywhere else in the world. And that is that it's meaningless.

When you use force to make a point, there will be a backlash against you, and that will be either as big or bigger than the problem was to begin with.

Child again

It's absurd. I don't feel any repulsion. I don't know - indifference. The only thing I know is that they've torn out my heart. And now I'm like a child of five years old. Now I've got to start everything again - becoming an adult all over again.

I've got to say that it's all the same to me - whether it's Eta, or al-Qaeda, or any other group of terrorists. To me it's the same feeling. The only thing I know is that they've snatched away a part of my life and nobody can bring it back.

I don't care who they are. I don't care what happens to the people who did it.

When you bury a person, the pain is that it is the last moment when you have that person next to you and when the ceremony ends you hand that person over to God. You don't lose them, but you stop having them at your side through everything.

Jesus Antonio Munhoz
"They have snatched away a part of my life and nobody can bring it back"

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Pilar is not Alcala de Henares' only loss"


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific