A bull that broke from the pack seriously gored two American brothers, catching one on each of its horns during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, but both were recovering Friday in the hospital.
Lawrence and Michael Lenahan were gored simultaneously by the bull, which also injured 11 other people Thursday. It was the worst day for injuries in the nine-day festival.
“I started yelling at my brother to show him I was bleeding everywhere but he showed me he was bleeding everywhere,” said Lawrence Lenahan, a 26-year-old Air Force captain from Hermosa Beach, Calif., in a telephone interview from his hospital bed in Pamplona.
He was gored in the buttocks, while Michael, 23, of Philadelphia, was injured in his leg and was recovering favorably from surgery at the same hospital.
The brothers had watched one bull run before taking part. Thursday’s run — the sixth day of the festival — was their first.
'I was in trouble'
The pack of six 1,300-pound bulls and six steers — intended to keep the bulls running in a single pack — disintegrated shortly after the animals set off on the course through the narrow, cobblestoned streets of Pamplona.
The run lasted 6 minutes, 9 seconds, compared with the usual length of 2 minutes because one bull separated — the most dangerous thing that can happen.
“I remember looking back and thinking I was in trouble,” Lenahan said.
As he sat in his hospital bed, Lawrence Lenahan posed holding the front page of a Spanish newspaper that showed both him and his brother on the horns of the same bull.
He said he remembered using his shirt to help wrap Michael’s leg as medical service staff arrived to help them.
“I think my brother and I underestimated the speed and danger of it,” Lawrence Lenahan said.
Another participant, Christopher Neiff, 24, of Norway, had the bull’s horn tear into his shin and slide under the skin right up to his knee. Festival organizers said Neiff had a nearly 5-inch wound, but that the bone was not affected.
“We will definitely be back again,” Lawrence Lenahan said. “My brother will never run (in the festival) again, but he would like to come back to celebrate.”
The San Fermin festival in Pamplona, renowned for its all-night street parties, dates back to 1591. It gained worldwide fame in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”
Since records began being kept in 1924, 13 people have been killed in the runs. The last fatality, a 22-year-old American, occurred in 1995.