Thursday 18 July 2019

Three gored on first day of Pamplona bull run

Survivor: A reveller lies injured after falling at the entrance of the bullring in Pamplona. Photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters
Survivor: A reveller lies injured after falling at the entrance of the bullring in Pamplona. Photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters

Alvaro Barrientos

Five people were hospitalised after the opening bull run of this year's San Fermin festival in Pamplona, including two Americans and a Spaniard who were gored by bulls.

A 46-year-old man from San Francisco needed surgery after he was gored in the neck in the city's bullring, at the end of the 850-metre course.

A 23-year-old man from Kentucky and a 40-year-old Spanish man were both gored in the thigh. Two young Spanish men sustained head injuries.

The running of the bulls in Pamplona draws about one million spectators every year. During the nine-day San Fermin fiesta, six bulls are run every morning in the city's narrow streets and then killed in afternoon bullfights.

Hundreds of "runners" race ahead of or next to the bulls, while the more risk-averse watch from balconies. Some Americans come to follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, who immortalised the Pamplona festival in his 1926 novel 'The Sun Also Rises'.

The first run of this year's festival run featured bulls from the Puerto de San Lorenzo cattle breeder.

The pack dashed together along the cobblestoned, barricaded street course. Toward the end, one of the bulls stumbled briefly, causing panic and at least one goring when it resumed the race and charged at some of the racers.

The Red Cross helped 48 people with minor injuries, including two who were trampled by the bulls.

The run, which lasted two minutes and 41 seconds, came after the festival's opening on Friday, when thousands of party-goers showered each other with wine and champagne in the packed main square.

Irish Independent

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