One of Spain's top bullfighters died Saturday after being gored to death by a bull at a festival.

Victor Barrio, 29, had tried to attract the bull with his cape, a maneuver called a "muletazo". But the bull caught him off guard, sending him to the ground with a painful somersault.

The bull, named Lorenzo, then gored him in the chest.

Hundreds of people had been watching Mr Barrio perform at a tournament in the town of Teruel in Aragon when the bull attacked.

The bullfighter was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save his life.

Mr Barrio's death - the first matador fatality in Spain this century - was also shown live on TV.

According to El Pais, Mr Barrio decided on a career in bullfighting at the age of 20, having previously combined his studies with working on a golf course.

He reportedly said: "I had always felt a great admiration for bullfighters and the party but I was ashamed to say I wanted to be a bullfighter and a hero, as I saw them."

Tributes were paid to Barrio by many, including Spain's acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who sent his condolences to the bullfighter's family and friends, adding: "rest in peace".

The festival was suspended following Barrio's death.

While around 10 people die each year at Spain's famous bull runs, the last matador death was in 1987 when Jose Eslava Caceres was trapped against boards and his lungs pierced by the bull.

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