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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Three people gored running with bulls at Pamplona festival

Bulls are run every morning and killed in afternoon bullfights during the nine-day San Fermin fiesta.

Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

By Alvaro Barrientos and Artiz Parra, Associated Press

Five people have been 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.

Officials in the northern Spanish city said a 46-year-old man from San Francisco, California, had been gored in the neck in the city’s bullring, at the end of the 850-metre course.

He was undergoing surgery, the regional government reported.

A 23-year-old man from Florence, Kentucky, and a 40-year-old Spanish man were both gored in their thighs.

Two young Spanish men sustained head injuries.

The nine-day San Fermin fiesta, where six bulls are run every morning in the city’s narrow streets before being killed in afternoon bullfights, draws around one million visitors annually, including many citizens from the United States.

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Revellers run next to the bulls during the festival (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Every year, hundreds of “runners” race ahead of or next to the bulls, while the more risk averse watch from balconies.

Some arrive following in the steps of American novelist and Nobel literature laureate Ernest Hemingway, who became fascinated by bullfighting and immortalised the festival in his 1926 book The Sun Also Rises.

Sunday morning’s inaugural run featured bulls from the Puerto de San Lorenzo cattle breeder, which also caused one goring last year.

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The running of the bulls (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

The pack dashed together along the cobble-stoned, 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 local Red Cross said its emergency personnel had attended to an additional 48 people for minor injuries, including two who had been trampled by the racing bulls.

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A reveller holds a figure of Saint Fermin ahead of the running of the bulls (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

The run, which lasted two minutes and 41 seconds, came after the festival’s official opening — or Chupinazo — on Friday, when tens of thousands of party-goers shower each other with wine and champagne in a packed square.

The annual festival also includes music performances, traditional sports and dance displays, a religious procession on Sunday to honour the local patron, a firework competition and endless partying.

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