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Felipe and Letizia visit Madrid bomb victims

March 10, 2004
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Hours after a devastating bomb attack on local commuter trains killed more than 180 people in Madrid, Queen Sofia, her son Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and his fiancée, Letizia Ortiz, arrived at a local hospital to offer their support and solidarity to the victims.

The Spanish royals were grim-faced as they arrived at the capital's Gregorio Marañon Hospital, with former journalist Letizia looking drawn and visibly affected. The future princess, whose hand was held tightly by her fiancé as she walked into the medical centre, has personal ties to the tragic events of the morning. The route of the targeted trains passed through the modest neighbourhood where she lived before becoming engaged to the prince last year.

Met by Health Minister Ana Pastor and members of the hospital staff, the three spent time with some of the 250 injured, as well as their loved ones. During the 45-minute stay, they also spoke to family members who had rushed to the hospital in search of relatives missing in the aftermath of the tragedy.

More than 1,000 people were reportedly injured in the attacks, which the Spanish government attributes to Basque separatist group ETA. The European Parliament, which described the bombings as "the worst act of terror in memory in any European state", has declared March 11 International Victims of Terrorism Day.

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Photo: ©
Crown Felipe held fiancée Letizia Ortiz's hand tightly as the two arrived at a local hospitalPhoto: © PA
Photo: ©
The young couple look on as Felipe's mother, Queen Sofia, meets a member of the medical centre staffPhoto: © PA

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