Spain’s largest fighting bulls lived up to their fearsome reputation, goring two and crushing at least seven people as thousands of daredevils sprinted down narrow streets Sunday in Pamplona’s annual running of the bulls.
The second of eight bull runs in the weeklong San Fermin festival involved the black and reddish-colored Miura bulls, renowned as the largest fighting bulls in Spain.
As they charged down the 800-yard route, two of them fell and, appearing to lose their way, turned on the crowd of runners. Two people were gored.
Despite the animals’ size, experts admire the Miura breed for their power and grace, which inspired legendary Italian car maker Ferruccio Lamborghini to name one of his most famous sports cars after the animals.
The lightest of the animals, a Miura named Majito, weighed 1,433 pounds. The heaviest, Huigerito, was 1,532 pounds.
The cobblestone streets of the city’s old quarter were jammed with hung over thrill-seekers from around the world, all after a taste of Spanish-style danger.
“People stumble and fall in front of you but you have to just keep running, jump, knock them out of the way. It brings back old football days,” said John Mauger, 61, a retired homicide detective from Huntington Beach, Calif.
Among those injured Sunday was Francisco Itarte, a San Fermin bull herder and one of several men charged with trying to keep the runs as orderly as possible. He was gored, as was a 24-year-old runner from Valencia.
13 killed since 1924
Another of the injured, Modou Mbengue from Senegal, underwent an operation on his left forearm. A 23-year-old French man and seven Spaniards — one transported by ambulance wearing a neck brace — were treated in Pamplona’s hospitals, said Beatriz Perez of the local government.
Since records began in 1924, 13 people have been killed. The last death, a 22-year-old American, was gored in 1995.
The San Fermin festival dates back to the late 16th century but gained worldwide fame in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”