VIDEO: 23 injured during stampede at Pamplona bull run

LAST UPDATED: 14 Jul, 2013 @ 16:13
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VIDEO: 23 injured during stampede at Pamplona bull run

THE penultimate bull run of Pamplona’s San Fermin festival left at least 23 people injured on Saturday, when runners fleeing the bulls were crushed at the narrow entrance to the bullring. Two of the injuries were gorings.

In shocking scenes broadcast live on Spanish television, there was a huge crush when the animals charged a crowd at the narrow entrance to the bullring.

Runners were shown being trampled while the bulls tried to climb over them from behind.

A gate normally used to let regional police into ringside positions was pushed wide open by a flood of runners, causing an obstruction for others trying to enter the main arena, Interior Ministry regional spokesman Javier Morras said.

The blockage ended after attendants managed to let the beasts escape through a side door normally reserved for matadors.

Javier Sesma, a health spokesman for Navarra province, said two of the 23 injured people were gored by bulls and that the others were hurt in the stampede.

Mr. Sesma said one runner, a 19-year-old Spaniard from Vitoria city, was seriously injured when his thorax was crushed at the bull ring entrance. An Irish citizen also suffered asphyxia.

“His situation remains very grave, but he appears to be evolving favorably,” Mr. Sesma said of the Spaniard. “We are hopeful. His life was at risk, but he is now more stable.”

One person was gored in his buttock and another in an armpit during the 928-yard (850-meter) dash through Pamplona’s narrow streets, the official said. Neither injury was serious, said the Navarra government, which organizes the annual festivities. One of those gored had received treatment in one of the two operating rooms at the bullring, Mr. Sesma said.

The rest of the injured sustained cuts and bruises.

Mr. Sesma said one spectator had a heart attack while watching the stampede.

The festival in this northern city dates back to the late 16th century and also is known for its all-night street parties.

The runs, eight in all, are the highlight of a nine-day street festival to honour Pamplona’s patron saint, San Fermin.

Each morning, six fighting bulls and six bell-tinkling steers that try to keep the beasts together head from stables to the ring where matadors will star in late afternoon bullfights.

The festivities, which end today, were made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Dozens of people are injured each year. The last fatal goring happened in 2009.

25 COMMENTS

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  1. I don’t think we are meant to have sympathy. They are all “volenti” to the risk they are taking, which is part of the excitement they feel. Do we have sympathy when a Motor sport competitor crashes ? In that sport it is part of the risk, and part of the reason they are paid so much. If someone playing darts is hit in the eye and blinded, that is an entirely different matter, as it was not part of the known risk. But footballers getting kicked on the shin, or cricketers being hit in the groin is part of what they are doing. Sympathy is not the right word.

  2. Bullfighting is a historic part of Iberian culture, a part which personally I dislike seeing, but think should be left to those who attend to decide whether it stays or goes. I went to the ‘corridas’ 30 years ago when I first arrived in Spain, and quickly knew I did not enjoy the event, but that does not give me any right to demand it be stopped.

    Yes the bulls get killed, however they enjoy four prime years in good pasture before they die in the ring, which is better than the other bulls selected for meat, who get a few months being fed antibiotics before they enter Micky D’s meat grinder.

    If you want to save animals, go vegetarian!

  3. Its no defence to say ‘its culture’. So were public executions, hanging drawing and quartering,witch-finding,the Inquisition and many other practises we now recognise as barbaric and outdated. If – which I sometimes doubt – the human race is to become more ‘civilised’ as time passes, cultural phenomena such as this should be discarded.

  4. John: It’s not about “saving” animals. It’s about removing the blood lust that ensues from watching an animal tortured to death. Of course it behoves anyone who hates cruelty, to protest and demand a cessation of this idiotic, barbaric practise.
    Food production is a completely separate issue that yes, needs addressing, but is a world away from “entertainment”.

  5. micmc47 “Its no defence to say ‘its culture’. So were public executions, hanging drawing and quartering,witch-finding,the Inquisition and many other practises we now recognise as barbaric and outdated.”

    They may seem “barbaric and outdated” to you, however I warrant they were a fine deterrent when they were used…. and I doubt that you would find many folk who would disagree that such treatment would be suitable for terrorists today, and probably for child murderers and paedophiles…. just saying, don’t worry I won’t be starting a petition to reintroduce those punishments.

    The fact is we have no right to interfere in what another culture thinks is acceptable UNLESS they are trying to introduce their ‘culture’ into OUR home land.

    We can protest, complain, boycott and try to influence opinion with discussion and rhetoric, but culture is something that we should leave well alone.

    The Spaniards have always held death in scant regard, they have seen enough of it to know that life is easily lost, and the corrida historically provided the younger generation with the clear knowledge of what death in the afternoon looked like.

    Leave the traditions well alone until the locals decide to stop bullfighting, or leave for a country where they do not have bullfighting.

    When we go to a foreign land, we should change to meet that countries culture, not expect that they should change to meet our desires.

    Lesley, in point of fact, my family were chimney sweeps, and I was the first male member for 200 years not to go ‘in the sweep’ – our trade was destroyed by the first environmental act… smokeless zones. I remember well my Dads brushes and canes, and the riches we enjoyed cleaning other folks chimneys.

  6. Simon, It’s called living life with a buzz, and as anyone who has ‘done’ Pamplona will confirm, mostly doing life with a buzz whilst insanely drunk and full of comradeship fine feelings for the other ‘stupid’ people who want to run.

    Overall one of the worse attitudes this last 100 years have produced is a total fear of dying doing something stupid, which has meant that overall there are few adventurers prepared to risk their all to do something dangerous or considered stupid by the man on the top of the Clapham omnibus.

    Like Freddy said “Who wants to live forever….” :0)

  7. “I think you’re a wind-up merchant. ” Half correct micmc47, I do enjoy responding to inane comments with words designed to spur a reaction, but the basic message is sincere.

    Edward, this is not about ‘torturing bulls’ as no bulls were injured in the Pamplona run, it was humans who fell over and got trampled, doing what they wanted to do, testing their cojones against the bull run.

    The bulls were killed later in the day, and would have indeed died a sad death, but a better death than their chums at Micky D’s slaughterhouse, and as previously stated a death that came after four years of prime pasture feeding….

    I personally admit that on the one occasion I was drunk enough to behave so stupidly I half enjoyed it until I realised that I was finally trapped in the ring with the bulls, and that those other idiots who were not in the ring seemed intent on keeping me and the others in the ring… I gave thanks that day for those stands I could hide behind.

    So no, neither bull fighting nor bull running is my pleasure, but I also know that inflicting my desires on those who do like those things is just as wrong as supporting them.

    Freddy may not have approved of my linking his words to bullfighting, but then Freddy was a chap who took much bigger risks, so maybe he would not mind having them linked to bull running.

  8. @John.

    Hi John think you may have misunderstood my comments, let me clarify. I’m all in favour of the “buzz” and whilst I’m not a strict advocate of health and safety I feel some foreseeable precautions can be taken to lessen the chances of needless deaths for the participants.
    Why was no one in charge of the doors ? 21 0f the 23 injured were from the stampede not by the bulls. The scenes form the video are reminiscent of the Heysel stadium crush (riot).The bodies are piled up and were it not for the other participants freeing them then this could easily have turned into a preventable tragedy.

  9. Hi Simon, apologies if I misread your intent! – I agree, adequate escape routes would always be a solution, the reason why this happened is in the text:

    “A gate normally used to let regional police into ringside positions was pushed wide open by a flood of runners, causing an obstruction for others trying to enter the main arena, Interior Ministry regional spokesman Javier Morras said.”

    There we have it: “A gate normally used to let regional police into ringside positions” good old enchufe working again!

  10. SERIOUS BULL FIGHT FANS SEE THE CORRIDAS AS AN ART FORM AND A SPIRITUAL OCCASION FOR THE TOREROS AND FOR THE AUDIENCE. THIS RUNNING OF THE BULLS AT PAMPLONA WHICH I ATTENDED ONCE IN MY LIFE AS WELL AS THE SAN FERMIN ALL NIGHT DRINKING AND DANCING IN THE STREETS WERE ALL PART OF THE SPAIN EXPERIENCE.IT SEEMED PRETTY SENSELESS AND NOT AN ART FORM IN ANY WAY.POSSIBLY THERE IS FOR SOME PEOPLE A NECESSITY TO CHALLENGE DEATH. NEVERTHELESS I WOULD NOT RANT AND RAVE ABOUT THE CRUELTY AND STUPIDITY..THE U.S. GOES INSANE OVER FOOTBALL AND BOXING; SOUTH AMERICANS OVER SOCCER.. HOW ABOUT THE COCK FIGHTS AND DOG FIGHTS? IT’S THE CULTURE.. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE OR APPROVE, BUT IT’S PART OF THE CRAZY WORLD WE ALL LIVE IN.

  11. All enlightened people think this barbaric practice is disgusting. Personally I cheer on the bulls and have no sympathy for anyone gored. I only wish they’d strap knives to the bulls for extra points…
    As for the troll comments above, I can only assume John and his ilk are 12 years old. Opinions like his are outdated and wrong on so many levels they can only be windups.

  12. ‘no bulls were injured in the Pamplona run…. The bulls were killed later in the day’ right… Why not try skydiving John, so you only risk killing yourself?

    It’s just a total DISRESPECT to the bulls and a COWARDLY act to kill them all after the runs. WHY? WHY? WHY? It starts of man against bull (running), then ends up with someone prancing around in camp tight clothes UNFAIRLY stabbing and torturing the bulls with weapons afterwards. COWARDS.

    It’s pathetic how expats say bullfighting is ok. It seems a really low down move ‘trying’ to integrate in this way. Learn the language fluently instead. This cruel Spanish history has nothing to do with you. It’s slowly getting phased out too region by region.

    MOST Spanish are against bullfighting.

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