- Title: SPAIN: PAMPLONA'S RUNNING OF THE BULLS FESTIVAL HAS LEFT SIX PEOPLE INJURED
- Date: 8th July 2002
- Summary: (U4) PAMPLONA, SPAIN (JULY 7, 2002) (REUTERS) CROWD OF RUNNERS RACING THROUGH STREET PEOPLE WATCHING THE SCENE FROM BALCONIES
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2002 13:00
- Location: PAMPLONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA8R4LRRGM5RFBM2YHJO96UHPBR
- Story Text: Pamplona's running of the bulls, the annual Spanish festival in which six bulls and thousands of people gallop through narrow cobblestone streets, has left six people including three foreigners injured.
The running of the bulls on Sunday (July 7, 2002) was the first of eight in the annual San Fermin festival with bull runs every July 7-14, a spectacle made famous by Ernest Hemingway's 1927 novel "Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises".
Thousands of people, many fortified by liquid courage from all-night drinking, run part of the course in which six bulls and six steer gallop 825 metres (902 yards) from a corral to a bull ring.
Doctors said an American woman, Elinzey Sain, 19, from Kansas and an Australian, Luke Versace, 19, were being treated at a hospital outside Pamplona. Both were gored in the leg.
Londoner Paul Staines, 37, received a blow to the face, the hospital said.
Television commentators called Sunday's run unusually dangerous because several bulls became separated from the herd.
Some of the bulls slipped on the dew-covered streets and fell, drawing out the run to more than seven minutes, about twice the duration of a clean run.
Sunday's bulls weighed from 515 kg to 640 kg (1,133 to 1,408 pounds). They face near-certain death in the afternoon bullfight.
Thirteen people have been killed in the running of the bulls since 1900, the last a young American man in 1995.
American Tony Castro described taking part in Sunday's running of the bulls as "exhilarating". "It seemed like a fun thing at the time, but when the bulls came after we just ran and hid. It was an unbelievable experience. I would have to recommend it," he added.
Castro's friend, Bill Perkins, said ten minutes amongst the bulls and runners seemed like an hour.
"My heart was coming out of my chest the whole time - for the whole ten seconds I saw the bulls," joked Chuck Carlton, also from Houston in the United States.
A Californian man nicknamed 'Bomber' has been taking part in the Spanish festival for 30 years.
"I think in the beginning you come here for the total experience of seeing and being part of (the bull run) and if you continually come here, you'll find out that it is a never-ending love affair," he said after the day's run had come to an end.
Larry Mazlack from Toronto said he was determined to take part in the running of the bulls for as long as it was possible.
"As long as I can bring my wheelchair out it will be fine. But I don't intend to stop running. When I first started running here, there was a short (inaudible) who used to run from the same place as I did and he was about 85 years old and he came up to about my chest. And he would run everyday from where I ran today and he would always come back, bloodied from the people knocking him down, with scrapes, abrasions. And he ran until he died, and hopefully I can do the same thing," said the 58 year old Canadian.
The American woman and a Spanish man, Jose Maria Perez Hernandez, 22, who was gored, were the most seriously injured on Sunday, according to a statement from the Navarre regional government. Two other Spaniards received less serious injuries.
Doctor Javier Sesma from a nearby hospital said, "The two girls who have been gored are undergoing surgery. Although their condition is not very serious, they will have to stay in hospital for a few days."
About a million people are estimated to have descended on Pamplona in northern Spain, but prospects of violence by the Basque separatist group ETA put something of a damper on the party.
Tensions have been high this year amid a crackdown by Spain's centre-right government against ETA, which has killed 800 people since 1968, and the Batasuna party that Madrid brands as ETA's political wing.
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