Charging bulls gored seven people and seriously injured several others Thursday as this year's San Fermin festival in Pamplona served up its longest and most dangerous run yet.
Thirteen people in total were hospitalized, seven for gorings and six for treatment of head injuries and other injuries, the local government said in a statement. Three were reported to be in very serious condition after undergoing operations.
The pack of six 1,300-pound bulls and six steers — meant to keep the bulls running in a single pack — disintegrated shortly after the animals set off on the dash through the cobblestone streets of Pamplona in the sixth of eight planned runs.
Loose bull goes on rampage
One stray bull turned around and ran the wrong way. Herders with long sticks smacked it in the rump to get the animal pointed in the right direction.
The loose bull charged and tossed several runners — some of them clad in the traditional red-and-white garb of San Fermin — on its way to the bullring.
Several runners were trampled and seven runners were injured by bulls' horns. One 48-year-old man from Pamplona was gored in the chest and was reported to be in very serious condition. A 23-year-old Mexican was gored in the stomach and was also reported as very serious.
The other runners who were gored were from Poland, Norway, Spain and the United States, with ages ranging from 23 to 50, officials said. They were all reported to be in serious condition.
The run lasted 6 minutes, 9 seconds, compared with the normal length of about 2 minutes, because the bulls separated — the most dangerous thing that can happen at Pamplona.
The festival in this northern town, renowned for its all-night street parties, dates back to the late 16th century. It gained worldwide fame in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."
Since record-keeping began in 1924, 13 people have been killed during the runs, the most recent in 1995.