Two gored in Spanish bull run

12th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Fighting bulls gored two young men Tuesday as the half-tonne beasts tore through the winding streets of Pamplona in Spain's San Fermin festival, officials said.

More than a thousand thrill-seekers ran alongside the six bulls and six steers bolting through the streets of the northern city, some daring to get as close as possible to their horns.

Seven people were injured, including the two who suffered gorings, in the sixth of eight daily runs of the festival.

One bull's horn pierced a man's chest and another skewered a daredevil in the right arm, organisers said. Others among the injured had broken bones, cuts and bruises.

Further details of the injuries were not immediately available.

The six bulls and six steers with bells around their necks raced 846.6 metres through the cobbled streets from a pen to the bullring in just two minutes 16 seconds, the fastest time of this year's festival.

One man tripped and fell just as he entered the bullring and lay motionless on the ground with his face down as the bulls passed around.

Every year between 200 and 300 participants in the run are injured. Most are hurt after falling but some are trampled or gored by the bulls despite increased safety measures.

The last death occurred two years ago when a bull gored a 27-year-old Spaniard to death, piercing his neck, heart and lungs with its horns in front of hordes of tourists.

With one litre (33.8 ounce) bottles of beer selling for as little as three euros ($4.30) near the bullring, alcohol is sometimes to blame for accidents, a factor that is closely policed in Pamplona.

In the most serious injury so far this year, a 25-year-old Australian man was gored in his right thigh during Friday's bull run after he taunted one of the bulls. The Red Cross said Sunday he was improving.

A 23-year-old French fireman was also gored, less seriously, on Saturday after he stumbled and fell.

The city of some 200,000 residents expects the festival, which runs until Thursday, will lure at least as many tourists as last year when 1.5 million people turned out and hotels reported an occupancy rate of over 90 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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