Three people gored on first day of Spanish bull-running festival
PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) – Three people were gored and a further two people suffered head trauma during the first day of Spain’s best-known bull-running festival in the northern town of Pamplona on Sunday, the Red Cross said.
One man was loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher shortly after the dash through the medieval town centre’s narrow streets to the bullring, which lasted two minutes and 41 seconds.
Thousands of runners, dressed head to toe in white, with bright-red neckerchiefs, gather every year for the traditional morning run, after which the animals are kept in the bullring until the afternoon’s fights.
A total 53 people were treated by the Red Cross. Runners often get injured at traditional bull-runs in Spain, but no one has died at Pamplona’s San Fermin festival since Spaniard Daniel Jimeno was gored in the neck by a Jandilla bull in 2009.
This year, the bulls were from cattle breeder Puerto de San Lorenzo, whose bulls have been responsible for one goring in the past. One person was gored on the opening day of the festival last year.
Locals and tourists alike will join in the 8am (0600 GMT) run every morning until next Sunday.
The festival regularly stokes debate about the treatment of animals. On Friday, protesters lay half-naked on the street with fake spears coming out of their backs to protest against what they see as cruelty.
Last year 25 incidents were reported, down from 40 in 2017 and 43 in 2016. That year, in addition to the victim of the wolf-pack case, 18 other women reported sexually motivated attacks involving violence during the festival.
Up until 2016, only a third of cases were resolved as it was difficult to identify the perpetrators in such a large crowd. Since then the centre of Pamplona has been covered by 21 security cameras.
This year the organisers say that, in addition to the thousands of police on duty, agents from the family and women unit will be on duty to deal with, and hopefully prevent, abuses.
There is also a San Fermín app that, as well as offering information about events around the city, gives advice on how to deal with and report sexual offences.
An information point was set up on Friday specifically to inform people about the issue and also to deal with complaints from women. It has a staff of six trained in dealing with sexual offences who between them speak Spanish, English, French and Basque.
The local and national police, some on horseback, have been joined by uniformed officers from France and Italy, agents from the US embassy and riot police from Bilbao.