July 7, 2006

American paralyzed at Pamplona bull festival

MADRID (Reuters) - A New York man was paralyzed below the
waist while dodging young bulls with other revelers in the
bullring at Spain's San Fermin Festival in Pamplona on Friday,
festival organizers said.

The 31-year-old, named by hospital authorities as Ray
Ducharn, was undergoing surgery after being taken to intensive
care after he was hurt while trying to escape when the animals
were released in Pamplona's bullring following the famous
running of the bulls through the town's streets.

It was unclear exactly how Ducharn was injured but he did
not appear to have been gored, organizers said.

The famous running of the bulls into the bullring and the
release of young bulls and cows into ring where they charge
people are separate events.

Another six people were injured dodging six half-ton bulls
from the Marques de Domecq ranch, including another New Yorker,
a Briton and a New Zealander who was gored in the thigh on the
first day of the week-long San Fermin festival.

While the festival made famous internationally by Ernest
Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises" has ancient roots, many
of the runners are now foreign tourists and the danger is
increased by a tradition of drinking all night before the run.

A total of 15 people have been killed during the festival
since 1924. The bulls are dispatched by matadors in the
afternoons following the runs.