Man killed and Briton gored at Pamplona bull-running festival
Posted by dorian on July 10, 2009
A Spaniard was killed and a British man injured yesterday at the San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Spain, the event’s first fatality in 14 years.
The rampaging bull punctured the neck and left lung of Daniel Jimeno Romero, 27, who died in hospital. Alex Short, 20, from Watford, was gored in the left thigh but was not seriously injured.
Mr Short was among nine casualties during one of the most violent days of the running of the bulls festival for years.
A half-tonne bull called Capuchino turned on runners after being separated from the other bulls as they charged along a half-mile course through the streets of Pamplona.
Andy Smart, a comedian from Portsmouth who has been to the running of the bulls 52 times, said that towards the end of the course he saw a man who he thought was Mr Jimeno.
“When I got up to that point there was a lot of medical attention being given to him,” he said. “He didn’t look good. There was a woman holding something to his neck.”
Mr Jimeno was taken to the Hospital of Navarra where he underwent surgery, but died shortly afterwards. “The wounds were mortally grave. We couldn’t do anything to save his life,” said Esther Vila, a surgeon.
Mr Smart said that the bull attacked two American men right in front of him. “It caught one of the them and then stopped and went back to try and gore him. One of the men had blood on his head where he had banged it on the cobble stones.”
An American aged 61 was struck in the chest and had internal bleeding to his lungs. He was in intensive care but was not in a life-threatening condition. Six others suffered bruises and cuts.
The incident is thought to have happened because when bulls become separated from the group they are at their most aggressive and dangerous.
When Capuchino turned on the runners, he tossed one man up in the air on his horns like a rag doll. As the victim fell to ground, the bull tried to gore him until he was pulled away by herders.
Mr Jimeno, from Madrid, was gored next to one of the fences as he tried to escape the charging bull. He had been on holiday with his parents and girlfriend in Pamplona. His mother and girlfriend identified his body.
The 515kg bull which killed Mr Jimeno is from a ranch in western Spain which has a reputation for producing dangerous bulls. It holds the record for the most gorings — eight in one day in 2004.
Fifteen people have died, and more than 2,000 injured, in the festival since records began in 1924.
Animal rights groups called for the festival to be closed. Alejandra Garcia, of Stop Our Shame, said: “This is a barbarity not just for the cruelty to the animals but for the danger it poses to the runners. It should be stopped.”
Supporters claim that safety controls have been tightened in recent years. A dress code has been introduced which bans beach sandals as they are dangerous for running. The road is cleaned and dried each morning before the encierro — or run — to stop runners and bulls slipping.