Two Australians and a Spaniard have been gored in the final and longest bull run of this year’s San Fermin festival as it wound up in Spain’s northern city of Pamplona.
Another four people were hospitalised on Monday for other injuries picked up as runners dressed in traditional white clothing and red scarves tripped over each other and fell as they opened a path for the six-half tonne fighting bulls and six steers.
A 595-kilo bull named “Olivito” that slipped and became separated from the pack turned around to face the runners and repeatedly charged one young man, lifting him in the air and pinning him against a wall.
The man managed to escape but the bull quickly caught up with him, goring him again as he tried desperately to pass to the other side of a wooden fence that separates runners from spectators.
A bull that separates from the pack presents one of the greatest dangers in the bull-runs, leaving the huge animal disoriented and more likely to charge runners.
Monday’s run was the longest of the eight in this year’s festival and the bulls from the Miura ranch in Seville in southern Spain took four minutes and 47 seconds to tear along a winding 848.6-metre course from their holding pen to Pamplona’s bull-ring.
A 24-year-old Australian man was gored in the right thigh while a 26-year-old Australian was gored three times, the regional government of Navarra said in a statement.
A 21-year-old Spaniard from Navarra was also gored three times, it added.
It was not immediately clear which of the men was the one gored by “Olivito.”
In all, 42 people have been hospitalised after taking part in the bull runs at this year’s festival, including seven for gorings.
The morning bull runs are the highlight of the nine-day festival which dates back to the Middle Ages and was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.
The festival also features bullfights, with the animals from the morning runs facing off matadors in the ring in evening, concerts, nightly fireworks, religious processions and a vibrant night life.
Fifteen people have died from gorings since records started in 1911, most recently in 2009 when a 27-year-old Spanish man was gored in the neck, heart and lungs.