PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) – Two Americans and a Briton were gored and eight other people were injured Tuesday as thousands of daredevils dashed alongside fighting bulls through the streets of Pamplona on the first bull run of the annual 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 the 38th time in 11 years.
San Fermin’s media office said he was gored in the armpit, and Webster told The Associated Press from his hospital bed that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again because he first needs to discuss the issue with his wife.
Also gored were a 27-year-old Californian identified by the media office only by his initials, D.M.O., and a 30-year-old Briton with the initials A.B.O. Neither was in serious condition.
Three other Americans were among the eight others injured, most with bruises from falls and crowd crushes during the nationally televised run that lasted just over two minutes.
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.
The daily runs see 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.
Bull runs are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. Dozens are injured each year, mostly 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.