Seven injured in Spanish bull run

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Fighting bulls trampled and knocked over runners on Wednesday in the second-to-last bull run in Spain's San Fermin Festival, injuring seven people but no one was gored, officials said.

A half-tonne bull broke away from the pack during the final stretch of the run through the cobbled streets of Pamplona and struck one daredevil in the back with its head before hooking him by the armpits with its horns and tossing him to the ground.

The bull then jumped over the man, who scrambled on this hands and knees to the side of the route.

The injured suffered cuts and bruises to their leg, head or face in falls, a spokesman for festival organisers said. No further details were immediately available.

The six bulls and six steers with bells around their necks completed the 846.6-metre run from a pen to the bullring in just two minutes 11 seconds, the fastest time of this year's festival.

Crowds from around the world lined the route to watch the run. Some people stood on garbage bins or climbed on electricity polls to get a better look.

Around 165 emergency services workers and 16 ambulances were spread out over the route to take care of any injured.

Every year between 200 and 300 participants in the run are injured, only around three percent seriously. 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.

The bulls can reach speeds of 24 kilometres (15 miles) per hour and are particularly dangerous when they become separated from the pack.

The final bull run will be held on Thursday, the last day of the San Fermin festival.

The city of some 200,000 residents expects the festival will at least match last year's turnout figure of 1.5 million people and a hotel occupancy rate of over 90 percent.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Jennifer Grail posted:

    on 13th July 2011, 11:52:07 - Reply

    Disgraceful, not sport, not culture but just barbaric to subject wild animals to this sort of torture with bells around their necks and crowds of hystercal "would -be macho men" screaming and terrifying them. Spain is no longer aa third world country so why act like one?