Two Americans and a Briton were gored and eight others injured Tuesday as thousands of daredevils dashed alongside fighting bulls through the streets of this northern Spanish city on the first bull run of the San Fermin festival, organizers said.
Mike Webster, a 38-year-old occupational therapist from Gainesville, Florida, was gored as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona for his 38th time over the last 11 years, he said from his hospital bed.
San Fermin’s media office said he was gored in the armpit, and Webster told The Associated Press that he hasn’t decided whether he'll run again because he first needs to discuss the issue with his wife.
Also gored was a 27-year-old Californian identified by the media office only by his initials, D.M.O. A 30-year-old Briton with the initials A.B.O. was gored in the groin area. None of the three was said to be in serious condition.
Three other Americans were among the eight others injured, most with bruises sustained in falls and crowd crushes during the nationally-televised run that lasted just over two minutes.
The daily run sees people dashing with six bulls along a narrow, 930-yard (850-meter) course from a holding pen to the city’s bullring. The bulls are then killed by professional matadors in bullfights each afternoon.
The nine-day fiesta in Pamplona, which features 24-hour street partying, was made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” and attracts thousands of foreign tourists.
Bull runs are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. Dozens are injured each year in the runs, most in falls.
Two men have died recently after being gored by bulls in Spanish festivals – one Saturday in the eastern town of Grao de Castellon and another June 24 in the southwestern town of Coria.
In all, 15 people have died from gorings in Pamplona since record-keeping began in 1924 for the San Fermin festival.