Aussies hurt during Pamplona Running of the Bulls
The family of an Australian seriously hurt during Spain’s infamous San Fermin festival in Pamplona are appealing to young travellers to exercise full caution, concerned about the risk that “anarchic and stupid” behaviour poses.
Australians have yet again been hospitalised during Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls, which commenced last week.
An 18-year-old Melburnian was seriously injured during the second day of the festival, with two other Australians also hospitalised. These victims were amongst the thousands of Australians attending the nine-day Running of the Bulls party in Pamplona.
Nicholas Ward was admitted to Navarra hospital on Wednesday with three fractured vertebrae after being run down by a bull that morning.
Continued below …
His father Howard told local newspaper Diario de Navarra he was watching the race while his son participated but said he was unaware Nicholas had been hospitalised until he failed to reappear at their accommodation.
Diario de Navarra said Nicholas was run over by the pack a few metres from the alley entrance to the bull ring.
Howard Ward told the newspaper he knew the race was dangerous but as an adult, Nicholas made his own decisions.
However, asked whether Nicholas would return to run again, Mr Ward replied, ‘‘No, no, no. He is a sensible boy but he didn’t realise the magnitude of the Running Of The Bulls.’’
Nicholas’s grandfather Ken Ward, in the Yarra Valley town of Coldstream, received news of the accident soon after. After seeing photographs of the incident, Mr Ward said his grandson had been ‘‘extremely lucky’’.
‘‘It’s unbelievable. He could’ve been a paraplegic,’’ he told Associated Press.
‘‘It’s a bit upsetting but they do these things, young people.’’
A 20-year-old Spaniard from the northern city of Zaragoza was also injured during the first running of the bulls. He was admitted to hospital with eye trauma but has since been released.
Two people were gored and at least four more injured in falls in the second running of the bulls on Thursday.
Navarra Hospital’s Dr Fernando Boneta said one man was seriously injured after being gored in the thorax. He said another man had been gored in the leg and was in better condition.
Four more people had been hospitalised in Pamplona for injuries, mostly from bruises sustained in falls during the runs.
The bull-run spectacle involves runners trying to outrace six bulls released every day to charge from their corral through the old town’s narrow, cobblestone streets, finishing in the city’s bull ring.
The runs have claimed 15 lives since 1911 and each year dozens of runners are injured.
Last year, a bull gored a 27-year-old Spaniard to death, piercing his neck, heart and lungs with its horns in front of the hordes of tourists.
San Fermin attracts huge numbers of foreign visitors, with 2000 to 3500 people a day running along the 848-metre stretch of street with six half-tonne bulls.
Two other Australians have been injured during this year’s festival but not in the running of the bulls.
A 23-year-old man suffered a fractured vertebra after falling from a fountain and a 26-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with a minor head injury, the Navarra government website said. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the man was from NSW.
A recent News Corporation poll of 5211 respondents showed that 81 per cent of readers thought the bull running is “archaic and stupid” while 19 per cent regard it as “high adventure”.