The bull-running festival, in Pamplona, turned brutal when half-tonne bulls ploughed into a human pile-up during the Fermin festival, leaving 23 injured . The bulls leapt over the pile, crushing runners under their hooves. Panicked festival-goers in traditional white shirts and red neckerchiefs scrambled over those in front of them and others tried to pull the fallen free, causing stampede.
Several people were also trampled under the bulls’ hooves during the crowded 850-metre (930-yard) run through the city’s narrow streets, which lasted four minutes and 15 seconds. Javier Sesma, head of the emergency unit of the local Navarra Hospital, told reporters that 23 people were hospitalised overall in the run and the pile-up.
These included a 19-year-old man from the Spanish town of Vitoria who was in serious condition and was diagnosed with a chest injury. “He is in a very serious condition with a chest trauma causing breathing problems, and requires breathing apparatus,” Sesma said.
Local government minister Javier Morras claimed that the authorities were still analysing on exactly what caused the pile-up, which was broadcast live on public television yesterday. Morras told reporters that one of the inner doors to the arena was shut in the rush, narrowing access and may have contributed to the pile-up.