A man was gored to death yesterday at Pamplona’s running of the bulls — the first such fatality in nearly 15 years. Nine others were injured in a particularly messy and dangerous chapter of the tradition.
The San Fermin festival Web site said the unidentified man was gored in the neck and lung during a run in which a rogue bull separated from the pack. That is among the worst things that can happen at San Fermin.
Three other people were also gored, and six suffered bumps, bruises and other lesser injuries, said Fernando Boneta, director of Virgen del Camino Hospital.
The last fatal goring at the running of the bulls claimed the life of 22-year-old American Matthew Tassio in 1995.
Yesterday’s death raises to 15 the toll since record-keeping began in 1924.
This run, the fourth of eight held at San Fermin, was by far the most perilous of this year’s festival.
The bulls covering the 850m course with six accompanying steers tend to mind their own business and keep running so long as they stay in a pack. A bull that gets separated is more likely to get spooked and aggressive and that is exactly what happened yesterday.
A brown, 515kg bull named Cappuccino fell early in the run and ended up on its own.
When it reached a stretch right outside the bullring that marks the end of the course, it started charging right and left, and even ran back the wrong way several times.
Runners scurried for safety to wooden barriers along the route as the bull attacked.
This went on for a minute and a half, which is a long time at San Fermin.
At one point the bull picked one man up with its horns and flipped him into the air as if he were a toy, then kept going after him as he lay curled up on the ground, covering his face. The man got up and ran away, apparently not seriously hurt.