Three gravely injured in the annual San Fermín festival in Pamplona

In this years’ annual San Fermín festival celebration in Pamplona, three people were injured as a result of the first bull run.

San Fermín festival takes place in the city of PamplonaNavarraSpain, and lasts for a week. Commencing at noon on July 6, it continues until the midnight of July 14. One of the most famous events of the festival is encierro, commonly known as the running of the bulls.

According to reports this year, two US citizens, aged 23 and 46 were severely injured, along with one Spaniard. Moreover, two other persons had to be taken to a hospital, while 48 others were treated by members of the Red Cross.

Encierro involves running in front of six bulls, let loose in the town’s narrow street. The course is of a total 850m (2790ft).  Sometimes there can be six or even up to ten cattle. According to the custom, six bulls are released daily before they face professional matadors in the later held public bull fights. Participants are usually dressed in white with red scarves around the neck. People over 18 can participate in the bull run; commonly majority of the participants are men.

The event is no stranger to severe injuries. Owning to previous records, atleast 16 people have died in the festival since 1910. The last person reported dead in the event was Daniel Jimeno Romero, who succumbed to neck injuries in 2009, during the fourth run of the festival.

The latest report suggest of a 46-year old was hurt in the neck on Sunday. The alleged man from California required a neck surgery. On the other hand, the 23 -year old American from Kentucky was hurt in the thigh, similar to the case of the 40-year old Spaniard.

The festival was popularized to English speaking population through the 1926 work of Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises. Along with the bull race, the festival also hosts religious, traditional and other folkloric processions, thus attracting a hoard of tourists around the world.