Spectator gored to death in bull ring in Spain

23rd July 2011, Comments 0 comments

A bull gored a 62-year-old man to death Saturday in a bullring during a festival in northwestern Spain on Saturday, local authorities said.

The man was behind a wooden protection barrier when the animal was released shortly after midnight into the temporary arena, which had been set up in the town of El Maderal for a bullfight to be held as part of an annual festival.

The young bull rammed the barrier, knocking the man over.

The beast's horn then spiked the man in the chest as he lay on the ground, killing him, an official in the regional government of Castilla y Leon said.

Local authorities cancelled the festivities for the rest of night and for Sunday following the tragedy.

Many towns in Spain hold bullfights or bull runs, in which crowds of people show their bravura by running ahead a pack of bulls through the streets, during their annual festivals.

In August 2010, some 30 people were injured last year when a bull leapt out of the arena at a bullring in the northern town of Tafalla and clambered up the spectator stands.

But there is intense debate in Spain over the centuries-old tradition of bullfighting.

The northeastern region of Catalonia last year became the first part of mainland Spain to ban bullfighting, which animal activists condemn as a form of torture but others see as part of the country's cultural heritage.

Forty-three people were injured this year during Spain's most famous bull run, held every July in Pamplona.

© 2011 AFP

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