38 in hospital after Pamplona bull runs

2012-07-14 12:06
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Spain's San Fermin bull-running festival

The San Fermin bull-running festival kicked off in Pamplona this weekend. Thousands took part in the thrilling bull runs and street parties. See all the pictures.

Pamplona - Four men were hurt on Saturday in the eighth and final bull run of Pamplona's San Fermin festival, bringing to 38 the total number of daredevils taken to hospital at this year's fiesta.

Two men, including a 28-year-old from Ireland, suffered head injuries in falls during Saturday's run, another bruised his shoulder and the fourth injured his knee, regional health authorities said.

They were taken to hospital for treatment but their injuries were not serious.

Each day hundreds of runners, many dressed in white with red scarves and sashes, test their valour by sprinting with six half-ton bulls along an 850m course through the narrow, cobbled streets of Pamplona.

The most daring try to run as long as they can right in front of the beasts' horns before veering off to the side or climbing the wooden barriers that separate the bulls and runners from the thousands of spectators from around the world that line the route.

Most of the injuries at the bull runs are caused by falls.

Four men were gored by bulls this year, none seriously: a 73-year-old retired architect from Pamplona, two Britons and an American.

The two Britons, aged 20 and 29, remain in hospital.

Three years ago, 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.

It was the 15th death at Pamplona bull run since record keeping began in 1924.

The San Fermin festival, which dates to 1591 and it honours Pamplona's patron saint, features concerts, firework displays, folk dancing, round-the-clock drinking and religious processions, in addition to the daily bull runs.

Pamplona officials estimate about half a million people flock to the northern city of 200 000 each year for the festival, which was made famous worldwide by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

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