PAMPLONA, Spain – A packed running of the bulls swollen by weekend crowds at Spain's San Fermin festival left five people with minor injuries Saturday, but there were no gorings the day after the first fatality for 14 years.
One man had a lucky escape when he confronted a lone bull that had broken away from the pack after a fall but he was only rolled on ground and not caught by its horns.
He was taken to Navarra Hospital and identified by city authorities in a statement simply as a 26-year-old Irishman.
The fifth bull run in the eight-day San Fermin feast took place the day after a 27-year-old man was gored to death, the first since 1995.
Virgen del Camino Hospital spokesman Dr. Fernando Boneta said five people suffered head injuries Saturday and were admitted for medical treatment but none was seriously hurt.
One man was hit hard on the chin and knocked unconscious by a calf inside the bullring after the running of the bulls had finished.
Among the injured was a 48-year-old American, identified only by the initials C.R.D., who was recovering from a head wound in Virgen del Camino hospital and a 22-year-old Spaniard, the statement said.
The bulls Saturday belonged to breeder Dolores Aguirre, famed for producing hefty, strong animals. The largest of the six animals weighed in at 1,378 pounds.
The runs start at an overnight enclosure half a mile away from the city's bullring where the animals face matadors and almost certain death each afternoon of this ancient fiesta.
The pack races along the often damp cobblestone course accompanied by six steers, each with a large clanking bell around its neck, whose function is to try to keep the group trotting together.
The greatest danger happens when the pack splits up, leaving bulls disoriented and irritated by crowds composed of thousands of adrenaline-charged — and often alcohol-fueled — thrill seekers.
Despite the large number of runners and the separation of one bull from the pack, all of Aguirre's animals entered the ring in 2 minutes 52 seconds, a reasonably fast time.
"I noticed the streets were swollen by a lot of runners," said Jaime de Vargas, who had dedicated his run to fellow bull aficionado and friend Daniel Jimeno Romero who died Friday.
Hundreds of revelers paid homage to Jimeno Romero by leaving traditional red neckerchiefs tied to wooden barriers at the spot where a bull gored him fatally in the upper chest and neck.
Boneta said all of those injured in Friday's event, including a 61-year-old American who was struck in the chest and had internal bleeding in his lungs, were doing well in hospital.
Friday's death raises to 15 the toll since record-keeping began in 1924.