American tourist, two Spaniards gored at Pamplona bull-run

PAMPLONA, Spain Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:43am EDT

A runner is caught between the horns of an El Pilar fighting bull on Estafeta street, before being gored by the same bull, during the sixth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Susana Vera

A runner is caught between the horns of an El Pilar fighting bull on Estafeta street, before being gored by the same bull, during the sixth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Susana Vera

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PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) - A U.S. tourist and two Spaniards were gored by bulls on Friday during a bull-run in Pamplona, as they were racing through the Spanish town's cobbled streets pursued by the animals.

The 20-year-old American was in a "serious" condition as was a 31-year-old from eastern Spain. The second Spaniard was described as having "less serious" injuries, authorities said.

The American, who was identified only by the initials "P.E.", needed emergency surgery to remove his spleen, which burst when the bull gored him, and was said to be stable in hospital. The Spanish man sustained injuries in his groin, knee and thigh.

A further four bull-runners were injured, including another American, aged 48. Authorities did not specify their injuries, but participants are often hurt due to falling in the chaotic dash. All those injured were men; few women take part in the run.

The gorings were the first this year at the festival, which started on Sunday and includes a daily bull run starting at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) and usually lasts between two and five minutes.

The animals taking part in the run are later killed by matadors in the bull ring, the final destination of the morning run.

Pamplona's San Fermin festival, one of hundreds of bull-running fiestas held around Spain every year, was made famous by Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises" and attracts visitors from around the world.

Most runners dress all in white with red kerchiefs tied around their neck. Many spectators drink all night before the early morning run and revellers' white clothes are often stained with red wine.

A 27-year-old from Madrid was the last person to be killed during a Pamplona bull run, after being gored in the neck in 2009. There have been 14 fatalities over the past century at the fiesta that dates from the 13th century.

(Reporting by Susana Vera and Raquel Castillo; Additional reporting and writing by Clare Kane; Editing by Paul Day and Robin Pomeroy)

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