Breakaway bull gores two men in closing Pamplona run

PAMPLONA, Spain, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:52am EDT

PAMPLONA, Spain, July 14 (Reuters) - A bull gored two men after breaking away from the pack and chasing them through the streets of Pamplona in the closing run of the San Fermin festival on Monday.

For a week in July hundreds of people dressed in white with red scarves join the daily "encierros" and are chased by bulls through the Spanish town's narrow streets and into the bull ring in a festival that has grown into a global tourist attraction.

Several men have already been gored by bulls during this year's festival but Monday's run, the eighth and last, was particularly brutal. One of the six bulls broke away from the others and charged several runners, lifting two of them off the ground on its horns and ripping through their legs.

Other participants tried to distract the bull and eventually herded it into the ring. The runs usually last between three to five minutes, and the bulls then appear in an evening bullfight, when they are killed.

Five other men were injured in Monday's run.

Nine men were still in hospital on Sunday recovering from injuries from the past week, according to the Navarra region's hospital authorities.

One of them was Bill Hillmann, an American who co-wrote a book called "Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls of Pamplona". He was gored in the thigh after he tripped and fell.

Many participants drink and dance all night before taking part in the 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) event, though local authorities have tried to clamp down on reckless behaviour in recent years.

Spanish media said over the weekend that Pamplona police were looking for a young man who was seen trying to get a dangerous "selfie" photo of himself on his phone as he ran inches in front of the bulls.

He could be fined up to 3,000 euros ($4,100) if they find he endangered other runners.

A 27-year-old man 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, which dates back to the 13th century and was depicted in Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises".

Few women take part in the run. (Reporting by Vincent West; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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