Video: 3 gored as running of the bulls festival ends

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updated 7/14/2010 2:24:14 PM ET 2010-07-14T18:24:14

Nine thrill-seeking runners were injured, three by goring, in a dangerous last running of the bulls at Spain's San Fermin festival, officials said Wednesday. It was the bloodiest run of this year's festival.

Bulls tossed people on the slippery cobblestone streets of Pamplona, where a red bull at the tail of the pack fell and became separated from the rest, leaving it disoriented and irritated by the large crowds, and causing panic among runners.

The injured include a 30-year-old Irish citizen, a 26-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand and seven Spaniards from four different regions, the regional government of Navarra, in northern Spain, said in a statement.

The eighth and final running of this year's festival took four minutes and 23 seconds, a relatively long time because the last bull separated from the pack and turned back and charged at least three times, forcing runners to scatter. Bulls are at their most dangerous when the pack splits up.

A 23-year-old man from Gijon in the northern Spanish province of Asturias was in serious condition in the hospital with two goring wounds, one in the thorax and one in the thigh, the Navarra government said. A 19-year-old from Madrid was gored in the armpit and was undergoing surgery Wednesday morning. A 24-year-old man from the central city of Burgos suffered a broken wrist and was not in serious condition.

Every morning of the festival at 8 a.m., six bulls race through the narrow, medieval streets of Pamplona accompanied by an equal number of large steers — each wearing a clanking cowbell — tasked with keeping the pack tight and galloping at an even pace.

The run covers 930 yards from a holding pen on the edge of town to the central bull ring where the bulls face matadors and almost certain death in afternoon bullfights.

The final bull, a massive red-colored beast called Gavioto from the renowned Jandilla ranch, was finally coaxed into a pen at the bullring, the final destination. But once inside the ring, Gavioto tossed a man in the air, partially removing his trousers with the tip of his right horn.

Image: Bull run in Pamplona
Alvaro Barrientos  /  AP
Revelers run on the treacherous Estafeta corner in front to Jandilla ranch fighting bulls during the eight and last run of the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona on Wednesday.

Renowned bullfighter Julian Lopez Escobar, known professionally as "El Juli," was discharged from hospital Tuesday after being gored in the scrotum during a bullfight. He has recovered enough to headline the final and most important fight of this year's festival, the government of Navarra said.

The runs are the highlight of a nine-day festival, which also features all-night partying and attracts tens of thousands of people, many from overseas.

Several people were treated by Spanish Red Cross crews on the street Wednesday after the run for bruises and cuts sustained in falls.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Pamplona Celebrates

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  1. Participants fall to the ground during the last day of running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain, on Wednesday, July 14. (Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Two fighting bulls from the Jandilla ranch slip as the herd turns into a sharp corner in the old city of Pamplona on July 14. (Jim Hollander / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A "Kiliki" rests before dancing on the last day of the San Fermin festival's "Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos" (Parade of the giants and the big heads) in Pamplona, on July 14. Enormous puppets accompanied by brass bands parade daily through the city during the nine-day-long festival made popular by U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway. (Susana Vera / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A couple sits on a bench bathed in light filtered through trees in Pamplona, early July 13. (Vincent West / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla is gored by a fighting bull weighing nearly 1,300 pounds during the San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 11. Padilla hung onto the bull's horns and then was flipped and pinned on the sand before being able to roll free. He was assessed by medical staff, then returned to kill the bull. (Jesus Diges / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Participants run in front of a fighting bull as it enters the Plaza de Torros bull ring in Pamplona on July 11. (Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A couple kiss during the San Fermin fiestas early on July 9 in Pamplona. (Ivan Aguinaga / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A runner is knocked down by a Cebada Gago fighting bull at Estafeta Corner during the second running of the bulls on the third day of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 8. The Spanish runner was among six people who were hospitalized following a run that lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds, according to local news sources. (Eloy Alonso / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Spanish Matador Francisco Marco is gored by a Cebada Gago'ss bull at Pamplona's bullring on July 8. (Ander Gillenea / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A fighting cow leaps over revelers during festivities in the bullring after the second running of the bulls on July 8. Six people were hospitalized, after two were gored following the run. (Joseba Etxaburu / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A participant falls while others run in front of Cebada Gago´s fighting bulls during the second running of the bulls on July 8. (Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Revelers sleep in a park before the start of the second bull run. (Alvaro Barrientos / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Revelers walk amid trash strewn about Plaza del Castillo after a night of partying during the San Fermin fiestas on July 8. (Alvaro Barrientos / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A matador's assistant administers the 'coup de grace' or 'blow of mercy,' killing the bull during the first bullfight of the San Fermin fiestas on July 7. (Victor R. Caivano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A bullfighter's assistant places a pair of 'banderillas,' or wooden sticks, in front of a charging bull of the Penajara ranch in Pamplona, during the first bullfight on July 7. (Victor R. Caivano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A reveler is tossed by a fighting cow during festivities in the bull ring after the first running of the bulls on the second day of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 7. Several runners were knocked to the ground and some were trampled by the animals but no one was gored and there were no life-threatening injuries. (Joseba Etxaburu / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A fighting cow leaps over revelers during festivities in the bull ring after the first running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 7. (Joseba Etxaburu / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Revelers are stepped over by fighting bulls during the San Fermin festival on July 7. (Ana Castro / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A man gets medical care after being gored by a fighting bulls on the first San Fermin Festival bull run, on July. (Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Participants wait for fighting bulls on the first San Fermin Festival bull run in Pamplona on July 7. (Ander Gillenea / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. People watch from balconies over Estafeta street in Pamplona for the running of the bulls during the San Fermin fiestas on July 7. (Victor R. Caivano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Revelers crowd the streets during the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona on July 6. (Susana Vera / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Revelers are soaked with water thrown from a balcony at the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona on July 6. (Joseba Etxaburu / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Revelers hold up traditional red neckties during the 'Chupinazo,' the official opening of the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona, on July 6. (Alvaro Barrientos / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Revelers hold up traditional red neckties during the 'Chupinazo." (Victor R. Caivano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A reveler drinks out of a wine skin during the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona on July 6. (Eloy Alonso / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Revelers throw a woman into the air during the 'Chupinazo', the official opening of the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona, on July 6. (Alvaro Barrientos / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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