Five hurt at Pamplona bull run including man gored in bottom

A runner at Pamplona’s famous Running of the Bull festival has been rushed to hospital after being gored in the bottom.

At least five people have required hospital treatment , including a 20-year-old Canadian tourist thought to have suffered a gore injury in the leg, after the first run yesterday in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona.

Hospital chiefs confirmed the initial injury toll moments after the opening run, which was complicated by overnight rain which made the streets more slippery.

Two of the six fighting bulls became separated from the pack at the start of the half-mile course along the cobbled streets of Pamplona’s Old Town.

The animals completed the run in just over two and a half minutes, despite a pile-up in the tunnel leading into the bull ring at the end of the course where a runner fell and several people behind him crashed into him and ended up on the ground.

The San Fermin festival kicked off on Friday at midday as thousands of cheering revellers filled Pamplona’s main square to watch the traditional ‘chupinazo’ firecracker being set off to official begin the event.

Wearing the traditional white T-shirts and trousers, the crowd cheered and chanted while waiting for the “chupinazo”, which is in the shape of a rocket, to be fired into the sky at midday. They then tied red handkerchiefs around their necks celebrating the start of the week-long fiesta.

Revellers were quickly soaked in sangria as the event, which draws tourists from around the world, got underway.

On Saturday, the second day of the festival, Red Cross spokesman Jose Aldaba said ambulances were taking the injured to a nearby hospital minutes after the race in the northern Spanish city began. Saturday’s bulls each weighed between 1,100lb and 1,400lb.

The eight morning runs, which are called encierros in Spanish, form the highlight of the nine-day festival.

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Most revellers party all day – and often all night – with many getting little sleep and sometimes none at all before watching the 8am encierros behind the safety of wooden barriers. During the runs, bulls chase runners through the streets over a stretch of 800 metres (half a mile).

This year organizers have introduced an app dubbed an ‘anti-rape’ app to reassure women the event is safe.

It follows boycott calls following a brutal gang sex attack which took place two years ago and enables festival goers to tell police at the touch of a button if they see or experience problems.

In April, five men who called themselves "The Wolf Pack" were controversially cleared of raping an 18-year-old woman at the event in 2016 and convicted of the lesser crime of sexual abuse.

Sixteen people have been killed at the annual San Fermines festival, made famous by 1926 Ernest Hemingway novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’, since records began in 1910.

The most recent death was in 2009 when 27-year-old Daniel Jimeno, from Madrid, was gored in the neck by a bull called Capuchino.

Several foreigners, from Australians to Americans through to Brits and Irish, are normally among the injured.

Last year 51 people including an Irishman were taken to hospital after being injured in the morning runs.

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