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Five people gored during Pamplona bull run

The event has been criticised by animal welfare activists.

FOUR PEOPLE WERE injured in falls and five people were gored as more than a thousand thrill-seekers raced alongside fighting bulls through the streets of a northern Spanish city in the first bull run of the San Fermin festival.

Navarra Hospital doctor Manuel Montesino said three people sustained head injuries while another suffered an arm injury in the 8am run in Pamplona.

The Guardian said that five people were gored in this morning’s run.

Spain San Fermin Source: Alvaro Barrientos

A regional government said the four were Spaniards and none was in serious condition.

In the nationally televised morning runs, participants dash along with six bulls and accompanying steer down a narrow 850-metre course from a holding pen to Pamplona’s bull ring.

APTOPIX Spain Running of the Bulls Source: Daniel Ochoa de Olza

The bulls then face matadors and almost certain death in afternoon bullfights.

Thursday’s run lasted two minutes, 28 seconds.

The nine-day fiesta became world famous with Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises and is now one of Spain’s biggest tourist events.

Spain Running of the Bulls Source: Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Many people suffered falls and were trampled on by the bulls or other runners. In one incident, four bulls crashed into a bunch of participants close to the end of the race, and several people narrowly missed being gored.

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Bull runs, or “encierros” as they are called in Spanish, are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. Dozens of people are injured each year in the runs, mostly in falls.

Spain Running of the Bulls Source: AP

Ten people, including four Americans, were gored in last year’s festival.

In all, 15 people have died from gorings in the San Fermin festival since record-keeping began in 1924. The festival has been consistently criticised by animal welfare activists, with protests sometimes taking place in response to the bull-run.

The festival started on Wednesday with the traditional midday launching of a firework rocket — known as the Chupinazo— from Pamplona’s town hall balcony.

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