Video: Injuries mount in bull running festival

updated 7/7/2009 3:46:14 PM ET 2009-07-07T19:46:14

Four people were slightly injured Wednesday in the second day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, including a Spaniard poked in the buttocks by a charging beast.

The other victims suffered injuries in the ankle, knee or head as runners dashed through the northern city with six fighting bulls and six steers, hospital spokesman Fernando Boneta said.

The Spaniard was not seriously gored, Virgen del Camino hospital said

The run through the old quarter of this northern Spanish town went off largely without incident. The crowd was bigger than on opening day Tuesday, when Spanish Television estimated the thrillseekers at over 2,000.

The bulls stayed in a pack with for much of the half-mile dash, although at several points animals slipped and fell on the cobblestone streets.

"I saw a bull run right past me. It was like a truck," said Christian McGuigan, 28, from California.

Added Gerrald Toms, 27 and also Californian: "All I saw was horns, and I ran like crazy."

Thrill-seeking cultural capital
The bulls came from the Cebada Gago ranch, which has a reputation for raising fierce animals. They have taken part in the San Fermin festival for 24 straight years and gored 38 people, according to the festival's web site.

Towards the end of the 2 minute, 30 second run, the crowd was so thick that runners were reduced to trotting with the bulls, rather than sprinting.

Slideshow: Fiesta in Pamplona

At one sharp turn where the animals often fall down, five black bulls negotiated the bend gracefully and ended up running almost in a straight line, one behind the other. Wednesday's was the second of eight planned runs.

People come from all over the world to test their bravery and enjoy nonstop street parties at this festival made famous by Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises."

Fourteen people have died at San Fermin since record-keeping began in 1924. The last fatal goring was in 1995. The victim was Matthew Tassio, a 22-year-old American.

In 2003, Pamplona native Fermin Etxeberri, 63, was trampled in the head by a bull and died after spending months in a coma.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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