Spanish bull-run claims casualties

Authorities say an Australian man was gored in the leg and three other people were injured when daredevils ran with bulls for a second day at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain.

Friday’s second of eight runs at Spain’s most famous summer festival featured bulls known for being fast and prone to poking people with their horns.

Navarra Hospital reported four people hospitalised. Three had injuries to the face or back, and the fourth was a 24-year-old Australian man who taunted a brown bull from close up in the bullring that marks the end of the sprint.

The man, who was not identified, slipped and fell and the bull pinned him to the ground and gored him in the leg. The hospital said his life is not in danger.

Tens of thousands of people packed Pamplona’s main square on Wednesday for the launch of the chupinazo rocket — the start of Spain’s most famous bull-running festival.

Mayor Enrique Maya heralded the first of nine days of uninterrupted festivities in the northern town as he lit the fuse from a balcony overlooking a frenzied crowd.

“Men and women of Pamplona, Long Live San Fermin!” Maya screamed, as revellers sprayed a fountain of wine, sangria, water and cava into the air. Many used toy water pistols, or leather wineskins to squirt alcohol into the mouths of those who asked. Onlookers on balconies followed suit.

“It’s way more than we expected, especially just the energy. And this is only, what, the opening?” said 37-year-old Brooklyn native Malika Oyo, who was partaking with her brother Yaka.

“We need sangria, we need sangria right now,” she said.

The day before the bulls steam through Pamplona’s streets, its the turn of locals and foreigners — nearly all dressed in white; red handkerchiefs tied around necks once the chupinazo has been fired.

“Everything happened so quickly … I screamed with all of my might, but the truth is from here [in the crowds] you can’t hear a thing,” Maya said.

‘Total insanity’
As the sea of people sang along to Ole, Ole, Ole, giant beach balls were punched to and fro. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes suddenly became another crowd favourite, many humming along, interspersed by the occasional fevered chant of “San Fermin” or “alcohol.”

The Red Cross said it attended to 15 people with five taken to hospital for treatment to injuries.

“The ambiance is incredible, there’s so much excitement in the air, there’s a rush here you don’t feel anywhere else,” said 28-year-old Pamplona local Edurne Berastegi.

Immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, the San Fermin festival is known around the world for the daily running of the bulls and all-night partying.

The first of eight dashes happened on Thursday when thousands tried to outrun six fearsome bulls along a narrow 800m course through the city’s cobblestone streets, with both beast and human often falling over — stomping on each other as they go.

The 8am runs take place daily until July 14 with each charge broadcast on state television. And then, on the afternoon of each day, the same bulls face matadors in the ring.

“We do it because it’s craziness; it’s total insanity. You purposely put yourself at risk — it’s a huge adrenaline rush,” said 55-year-old Florida native Hal Ringeisen who was in Pamplona with his wife Linda and neighbour John Parris (52). Parris claims to have run the event over 70 times since 1989.

“On a drunken night he talked my husband into doing it and it’s been downhill ever since,” Linda revealed.

Since record-keeping began in 1924, 15 people have been killed in the running of the bulls — the last victim 27-year-old Spanish runner Daniel Jimeno Romero in 2009.

Yaka Oyo said he was planning on running the second and third day while his sister Malika remained unsure.

“I keep asking if women run and people keep saying ‘no’ so I want to run,” she said.

“It’s not the bull that worries me,” she added “I’m more worried about the men knocking me down, and then the bull.” — Sapa-AP

Paul Logothetis
Paul Logothetis works from Montreal, Canada. Former @AP_Sports reporter for Spain via London, now contribute to @Guardian, @dpa_int, @USATODAYsports & more. West Ham. Email me pglogothetis[at] Paul Logothetis has over 1259 followers on Twitter.

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.