Video: Runner, 73, gored in the leg by bull
One elderly thrill-seeker was gored in the leg and five others slightly injured as thousands of adrenaline-fuelled runners raced ahead of six fighting bulls in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona in the first running of the bulls of this year's San Fermin festival, officials said yesterday.
Runners, in traditional white clothing and with red kerchiefs around their necks, tripped over each other or fell in the annual daredevil rush.
One youth got the top of his shirt and kerchief caught on a bull's horn, inches from his face, and was dragged several metres along the ground.
The gored runner, a 73-year-old Pamplona resident, was taken to a local hospital and five others were treated for cuts and bruises, the regional government of the province of Navarre said.
Among those who received medical attention were a 21-year-old Japanese person and a 26-year-old Australian national.
The San Fermin running of the bulls festival became world famous with the publication of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.
Yesterday, the massive bulls belonging to the Dolores Aguirre breeding ranch raced from a holding pen on the outskirts of town, where they spent the night before the run, along a 849-metre course to the city's bull ring in two minutes, 53 seconds, a relatively slow time.
Last year's opening run was completed 23 seconds faster.
The beasts have killed 15 people since record-keeping began in 1924. The most recent such tragedy came in 2009 when a young Spaniard was gored in the neck as he tried to escape a bull by sliding feet-first under a fence.
It was the first death at San Fermin in nearly 15 years.