Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Bull gores, kills Spanish matador during bullfight


Spanish bullfighter Victor Barrio, center, lies motionless on the ground after being gored by a bull as other bullfighters try to distract the animal during a bullfight held for the Feria del Angel in Teruel, Spain, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

A Spanish bullfighter was on Saturday gored to death in front of horrified spectators at a corrida, the first to be killed in the ring in more than three decades.

Victor Barrio, 29, was struck in the chest by the massive bull that tossed him in the air before he fell to the ground, where he lay motionless after the graphic attack that was aired live on TV.

Other bullfighters rushed to the rescue, trying to distract the 500kg bull before carrying Barrio from the ring in the eastern Spanish town of Teruel.

Barrio, who made his corrida debut in 2008 and toured rings all over the country, was pronounced dead at the scene, event organizer Tauroemocion told reporters.

Spanish President Mariano Rajoy sent his sympathies after the death.

“My condolences to the family and colleagues of Victor Barrio, bullfighter who died in Teruel. Rest in peace,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Plaza de Las Ventas bullfighting ring in Madrid also paid tribute to Barrio on Twitter.

“Distressed and affected. Rest in peace, Victor Barrio. All of us send our condolences to his team and to his family and friends,” it said, posting photographs of the slain bullfighter.

According to Spanish media, the previous bullfighter to be killed in the ring was 21-year-old rising star Jose “El Yiyo” Cubero, who died after being gored through the heart in 1985.

Last year, prominent Spanish bullfighter Francisco “Paquirri” Rivera Ordonez, whose father was gored to death in Andalusia in 1984, was badly injured after being gored in the groin by a bull.

Bullfighting and related events have come under fire in recent years by animal rights activists who denounce the sport as cruel and dangerous. Several regions or cities have put a stop to corridas or annual festivals with bull running over the years.

Last month, animal rights party PACMA won a record number of votes in general elections. The group has long campaigned for an end to bullfighting in a country increasingly torn between animal rights activists who support abolition and others who want to keep an age-old tradition going.

According to official figures, 1,868 bull-related events were held in Spain in 2014.

Combined, they attracted 6 million spectators to the country of 47 million residents, according to ANOET, the national organization that arranges such events, which said the “bull business” brings in 3.5 billion euros (US$3.87 billion) annually.

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