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Europe

Man dies in Pamplona bull run

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-10

According to organisers of the popular San Fermin festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, a man was gored to death during the annual bull run on Friday, the first death from goring since 2003. The festival is renowned for causing injuries.

AFP - A bull gored a man to death during the world famous Pamplona run on Friday, piercing his neck, heart and lungs with its horns in front of thousands of tourists.

Witnesses pulled on the tail of the bull in a bid to get it away from the Spanish man who was thrown into the air by the animal, television footage showed.

Other runners jumped over wooden barriers along the edge of the cobbled streets where the San Fermin festival has been held since 1911.

The dead man was named by organisers as Daniel Jimeno Romero, 27, from the town of Alcalade Henares near Madrid. Romero was the 15th person to die in the annual run, but the first to be gored since 1995.

The last fatality before Romero was a Spanish bullfighter who died after a fall in 2003. He was in a coma for several weeks.

Romero was mortally wounded on the fourth release of bulls on Friday morning. Hundreds of runners took part in the traditional race, which has long been condemned by animal defence activists.

"The wounds were mortally grave. We couldn't do anything to save his life," Esther Vila, a surgeon at the Navarra hospital where Romero was taken, told a news conference.

Rumours had initially spread that the dead man was British, as foreigners were among others injured on the day.

A British man aged 20, an Argentine of 24, and a 27-year-old Spaniard were also gored less seriously during the bull runs on Friday. All were said to be in satisfactory condition.

About half a dozen other people were injured in falls, organisers said. They include a 61-year-old American man who was in serious condition with head injuries in hospital, a spokeswoman said.

A 63-year-old American man suffered a fractured elbow in a fall while trying to avoid the bulls, the spokeswoman added.

An Australian, an American, a Scottish man and a Swiss national were injured in other runs this week.

The festival, in which about a dozen bulls are released each morning to run from their corral over an 825-metre (900-yard) course to the bullring, causes injuries every year as tourists, dressed in white with a red neckerchief, sprint in front of the animals.

In the afternoon, the same bulls face matadors in the bullring.

The festival was made famous by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises".

This year it started on Monday and runs through to July 14.

Date created : 2009-07-10

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