Bulls Slip on Dew, Toss Daredevils in Spanish Run

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A packed running of the bulls left one daredevil gored and four others injured Saturday at Pamplona's annual San Fermin festival, officials said.

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Six massive fighting bulls slipped on morning dew-dampened cobblestones and tossed people aside as they ran with them on the half-mile course through the narrow city streets to the bull ring.

The Navarra government said a 26-year-old Colombian man was taken to Virgen del Camino hospital with a gored right buttock, a 33-year-old man from Ghana suffered a broken jaw and a Barcelona man, 55, will require plastic surgery on his right ear.

In minor injuries, a 29-year-old Madrid resident broke his nose and a 26-year-old from Lesaka fractured his left wrist, the government said.

Minutes before the run began, police cleared the streets of about a half-dozen animal rights protesters.

The run — the sixth in the weeklong adrenalin and alcohol-fueled annual festival — was quick, lasting less than three minutes despite an unusually large weekend crowd in which serious bull running aficionados were joined by revelers.

At least three of the fierce animals from the renowned Dolores Aguirre Ybarra ranch fell, despite being accompanied by guiding steers and staff-carrying bullherds.

One runner was caught between the horns of a bull, hit first by its left horn then the right one, before being nudged to the side. That runner avoided a goring.

Several people were caught in a crush of festivalgoers and forced to dive for cover as the bulls approached, suffering cuts and bruises in the process.

In the six races so far this year, about a half dozen runners have been gored, though none seriously. A total 473 people received medical treatment during the first five days of the festival, 13 more than during the same period last year, the government said.

The festival in this northern city, also known for its all-night street parties, dates back to the late 16th century, though its roots reach back to the era when Spain was first Christianized.

The runs to the city bullring take place at 8 a.m. daily and are the highlight of festivities that became world famous with Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." Professional matadors fight and kill the bulls in Pamplona's ring each afternoon of the festival.

Fourteen runners have died in the running of the bulls since record-keeping began in 1924.