Man crushed during animal-friendly 'Running of the Bulls' alternative

A Spanish town’s alternative to the Running of the Bulls has left one man seriously injured.

A 29-year-old was rushed to hospital with a severe head injury after the Running of the Ball festival in Mataelpino near Madrid on Sunday.

He was crushed against a metal barrier whilst participating in the event.

The festival was created as an animal-friendly alternative to the annual Running of the Bulls event in Pamplona, which has killed 15 people.

Now helmets for participants are being considered to make the Running of the Ball festival safer.

The Running of the Ball event near Madrid on Sunday. Source: Storyful

The latest incident comes after two people were seriously injured in the event last year after being crushed against a metal barrier by a 300kg resin ball.

“We have talked to some brands to try to get sponsorship for the use of helmets,” Mataelpino mayor Javier de los Nietos told Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“We haven’t done it earlier because we didn’t want people to be overconfident and think that nothing will happen if the ball hits them.”

Participants in the festival run away from a ball that weighed 250kg this year. Source: Storyful

The Telegraph reports witnesses said the 29-year-old man froze as the ball approached him.

“People who are used to bulls know they can’t just stand still in front of them because they could be gored. But with the ball some people think that nothing will happen to them, but this is not the case. If they get a direct hit, it can be serious,” de los Nietos said.

During the Running of the Ball festival, participants run through a passageway created by metal barriers, escaping a ball that this year reportedly weighed 250 kilograms.