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Four gored by Pamplona bulls

By CNN's Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

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Spain's annual running of the bulls.
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PAMPLONA, Spain (CNN) -- Four men were gored on Thursday, including an American and a Briton, in the third day of the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, a Navarra regional government spokesman told CNN.

Two Spaniards were also gored, including one hit by three different bulls in quick succession.

Five other Spaniards had non-goring injuries, from falls or trampling, that also were serious enough to merit a trip to hospital.

The 22-year-old American from Louisiana, identified only by his initials K.P.S., was gored in the left knee on Mercaderes Street, which is part of the half-mile, or 800-meter, course from the corrals to Pamplona's bullring.

The 22-year-old Briton, from Oxford, identified by the initials J.M.D., was gored in the scrotum, in the bullring, in what the government spokesman said was a "slight injury."

Spaniard Juan Vallbona Serra, 23, from Sabadell near Barcelona, was gored in the left thigh, suffering a 6-inch or 15-centimeter gash, and was sent for surgery, the spokesman said.

Vallbona was shown on Spanish state television's broadcast of the running. He fell on Mercaderes street and as he tried to get up, a black bull stepped on him. He tried to get up again and another black bull gored him in the left thigh. He tried to get up again and a brown bull hit him violently in the back.

Pamplona official pamphlets on how to run with the bulls advise runners who fall down to stay on the ground, curl into a small position, and remain still, because the bulls will instinctively try to step over them.

State television's veteran play-by-play announcer for the running of the bulls, Javier Solano, criticized on air the young runner, saying he had made a mistake by trying to get up.

The fourth man gored was a 53-year-old Spaniard, identified as C.G.P., from southern Malaga province, who suffered a wound to the left arm, while running on the Santo Domingo uphill section at the beginning of the course.

A total of 23 runners have been taken to hospital in the first three days of the running, which began on July 7 and concludes on July 14. The injured included four Americans, a Briton, a South African, a Portuguese and numerous Spaniards. Most had non-goring injuries.

More than a dozen runners have been killed since early last century, when record keeping began.

The running of the bulls in Pamplona started 400 years ago and became popular worldwide after Ernest Hemingway wrote about it in the 1920s.


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