July 8, 2008

Bulls Festival is Party Time


THE running of the bulls became world-famous with the publication of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

It is also known for its all-night street parties.

The festival's origins go back to the 13th century but, since record-keeping began in 1924, 14 runners have died.

The last fatality from a goring was a 22-year-old American, Matthew Tassio, in 1995. In 2003, a 63-year-old Pamplona native, Fermin Etxeberri, was trampled and died after months in a coma. Yesterday the half-mile sprint through the Spanish town's cobblestone streets turned chaotic because the pack of six half-ton beasts became separated early after ploughing into a crowd.

The Spanish Red Cross said 13 people were injured, one very seriously.

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