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09 Jul 2004 10:39
Bulls gored one runner and trampled several others on Friday during the running of the bulls at this year’s San Fermin festival.
All along the 82m route, which runs along narrow cobblestone streets from a corral to a bull ring, runners in the popular festival were knocked off their feet, pushed against the thick wooden barricades lining the streets, or trampled.
Authorities said that at least six or seven people were hurt during Friday’s run, the third of the festival, although they could not detail the severity of the injuries. No one was gored or seriously injured during the first two days of this year’s festival
honouring Pamplona’s patron saint.
But Friday’s run was different from the start.
The bulls—one weighing 600kg—charged out of the corral faster than usual, each one going off on its own rather than all lumbering along as a pack.
Juan Vallbona Serra, one of hundreds of people sprinting just ahead of the animals, was struck by a bull, which then fell on him.
As the 23-year-old from Sabadell, Spain, struggled free, another bull hit him in the back and lifted him into the air, apparently goring him the leg.
There were so many runners that it seemed impossible for all bulls to squeeze through the crowd, though the mass of people—moving just a little faster than the speed of the bulls—did repeatedly part to let the bulls through.
Most of the approximately one dozen bulls—some bred for fighting, some docile—tried to avoid hitting the runners.
Most bulls made it to the bull ring about two and a half minutes after the start of the run. But two had to be coaxed into the ring and the run didn’t officially end until about four minutes after the beasts charged out of the corral. - Sapa-AP
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