Trained for Terror

Just after 7:39 a.m. on the morning of March 11, Dr. Ervigio Corral Torres was arriving at his office in southern Madrid when his mobile phone rang. It was the duty officer at SAMUR, Madrid's emergency services unit, who told him that the Atocha train station had been hit with what looked to be terrorist bombs.

Corral Torres had been heading SAMUR for only four months. A compact, athletic man of 44, he had helped found the service in 1991 and worked as an emergency-ambulance doctor thereafter, directing rescue operations for more than a dozen attacks by the...

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