BULLRUN
Villar Lopez  /  AP
Various runners duck into a doorway as a fighting bull charges past during a San Fermin bull run in Pamplona, Spain, July 9.
updated 7/9/2004 3:23:51 PM ET 2004-07-09T19:23:51

Four people — including two Americans — were gored Friday during the running for the bulls at this year’s San Fermin festival, officials said.

The third day’s run also was marred by injuries to at least five other participants. In the two previous days of the popular festival, there have been no serious injuries.

John Doyle, 22, of Dunwoody, Ga., was gored in the groin and would probably be hospitalized for a day or two, said Dr. Wilfredo Soler of Virgen del Camino Hospital.

The other injured American was a 22-year-old man from Louisiana who was gored in the left knee, Soler said. The American requested that his name not be disclosed.

The worst injured was Juan Vallbona Serra, 23, of Sabadell, Spain, who was struck by a bull, which then fell on him. As he struggled free, two other bulls hit him in the back and side, lifting him into the air.

He suffered a 6-inch gash in his right thigh, said Begona Lopez, a spokeswoman for Pamplona City Hall.

A 58-year-old Spaniard was gored in the left forearm, according to news reports.

Runners were knocked off their feet, trampled or pushed against barricades all along the 900-yard route on narrow cobblestone streets from a corral to a bullring.

The bulls — one weighing 1,300 pounds — charged out of the corral faster Friday than on preceding days, with several going off on their own rather than lumbering along as a pack.

There were so many runners that it seemed impossible for the bulls to squeeze through the crowd. But the mass of people — moving just a little faster than the bulls — repeatedly parted just in time to let the animals pass safely through.

About a dozen bulls — some docile, some bred for fighting — tried to avoid hitting the runners and appeared to concentrate on staying upright as their hooves clattered along the uneven, slippery cobblestone.

Most made it to the bullring about 2½ minutes after the start of the run. But two had to be coaxed into the ring and the run didn’t officially end until about four minutes after the beasts charged out of the corral.

The festival is dedicated to Pamplona’s patron saint.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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