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Four injured in quick Pamplona bull run

10 july 2012, 17:27
0
The San Fermin festival. ©AFP
The San Fermin festival. ©AFP
Half-tonne fighting bulls trampled and knocked over runners on a break-neck bull run in Spain's San Fermin festival on Tuesday, injuring at least four people, AFP reports citing officials.

Two men suffered bruises to their legs, one was treated for a bruise to the face and the fourth bruised his arm in spills along the route, a Red Cross spokesman said. All four were taken to hospital but their injuries are not serious.

No further details were immediately available.

The bulls from the El Pilar ranch, known for their speed, took just two minutes and 22 seconds to cover the 850-metre (2,800-foot) course, the fastest time of the four daily bull runs held so far this year.

One bull stepped on a runner who had fallen in the middle of the course but the man was seen to walk away on his own after.

"You really have to control your nerves, especially at the beginning when it is really crowded and people are pushing you," said Jonathan Llanos, a 23-year-old immigrant from Ecuador who came from Zaragoza to run with the bulls.

Runners dressed in red clothes with red handkerchiefs around their necks jogged on the spot and did stretching excercises before the start of the fourth bull run of this year's San Fermin festival as they stood behind a line of police.

One man prayed and kissed a crucifix he wore around his neck minutes before the rocket was fired to signal that the bulls had been released from their holding pen.

A giant bull skwered two Britons and an American, none seriously, with its horns during Monday's run after it broke free from the pack and charged a crowd of runners cowering by wooden barriers set up on the side of the road.

Last year 20,500 people joined the festival's eight daily bull runs, with nearly half of them coming from abroad, mostly the United States, Australia and Britain, according to Pamplona city hall.

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.

Pamplona officials expect about half a million people will flock to the city of 200,000 during the July 6-14 festival, which dates back to medieval times.

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