Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 15:18 UK

Bull gores man to death in Spain


The running of the bulls in Pamplona on the festival's fourth day

A young Spanish man has been gored to death in the traditional running of the bulls in Pamplona, northern Spain.

The 27-year-old was gored in the neck on Friday, during the fourth bull run of the week-long San Fermin festival.

Daniel Jimeno Romero, from near Madrid, had emergency surgery in hospital but died of his injuries. Earlier reports had described the dead man as British.

Three other runners were injured by the bull on Friday. The last fatal goring at the festival was in 1995.

A light-brown bull called Capuchino ploughed into a group of runners and spectators on Friday after getting separated from the rest of the group.

The wounds were mortally grave. We couldn't do anything to save his life
Surgeon Esther Vila
Navarra hospital

The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Madrid says the running of the bulls - opposed by animal rights activists - is a defining event in Spanish culture.

Popularised by the writer Ernest Hemingway, it attracts thousands of foreign tourists each year - many of whom choose to take part.

Hit with sticks

Friday's incident happened near the bullring, which marks the end of the 850-metre (2,805ft) run through the streets of Pamplona.

Television footage showed runners fleeing a rogue bull and jumping over the wooden barriers in one of the cobbled streets.

The bull tossed one man into the air and then gored him as he lay curled on the ground.

Fellow runners tried to beat the bull off by pulling on its tail and hitting it with sticks. The bull swerved right and left and even began running back the wrong way.

Mr Jimeno Romero, from Alcala de Henares, was said to have been gored in the lungs as well as the neck.

Emergency medics treated him at the scene before he was taken to Navarra hospital, where he died.

"The wounds were mortally grave. We couldn't do anything to save his life," surgeon Esther Vila told a news conference.

Fifteen people have died from injuries at the Pamplona fiesta since 1922.

Before Friday's fatality two North Americans were gored to death - in 1980 and 1995 - and a veteran Spanish bull-runner died after a fall in 2003, Spain's El Mundo news website reports.

The festival was made world-famous by Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

Clad in white, with a red kerchief, tourists and Spaniards sprint ahead of the charging bulls, which face matadors in the bullring later in the day.

map of Pamplona

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