Aussie injured at running of the bulls in Pamplona
A 26-year-old Australian is one of a number of people who have been injured at the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain.
THE bulls have been notoriously feisty at this year’s Running of the Bulls in the Spanish city of Pamplona. Despite the world famous San Fermin festival not even half complete, already 15 people have been hospitalised and dozens of others injured. Two Brits and an American were gored on Monday when a straggling beast lagged behind in the daily run that saw a pack of six huge bulls and six steers tear through the northern city’s slippery cobbled streets.
As the bovine herd thundered from a holding pen to the Pamplona arena, a 550kg black bull called Fugado (Escapee) hung back before confronting the crowd.
Regional health authorities reported that Fugado skewered three runners with its horns: a 20-year-old Briton in the right leg; a 29-year-old Briton in the left leg and a 39-year-old American in the right knee; although none of the three were reported as seriously injured. The only Spaniard gored so far was a 73-year-old local man from Pamplona who was injured on Saturday, the first day of the festival.
A 26-year-old Australian was also one of six people to suffer injuries on Saturday, while a number of other people have been treated for cuts and bruises sustained in the adrenaline-fueled dash along the 849-metre route.
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Every year between 200 and 300 participants are injured in bull runs, although only around three per cent are seriously hurt.
Fifteen people have been killed by bulls in the runs since the first records began in 1924, with the last fatality three 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 morning runs are the highlight of the annual San Fermin festival, named after Pamplona’s patron saint. The weeklong fiesta, which became world famous with the publication of Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, features nonstop activities – including concerts, parades and amusement park rides – that aim to appeal to all ages. The event is a huge boon to the local economy and is seen as almost a rite of passage for many Australian travellers in Europe.
Last year over 20,000 thrill-seekers, dressed in white with red neck scarves, took part in the festival’s eight daily bull runs. Nearly half of all participants came from abroad, with the United States, Australia and Britain accounting for the greatest number of foreigners.
Pamplona officials expect about half a million people will this year flock to the city of 200,000 residents during the festival, which dates back to medieval times.
The runs take place daily until 14 July and are broadcast on Spanish state television. – With sources
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