Let loose a handful of crazed bulls into a crowd of drunken revellers, and it's hardly surprising that some of them end up getting hurt. That, at least, seems to be the lesson of day six at this year's San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. A total of 13 people landed in the hospital on Thursday morning, seven of them having had close encounters with bulls' horns. Three were reported to be in serious condition following operations.
With two more bull runs to go, Thursday was the most violent day so far this year during the "Running of the Bulls" as the festival is often called. A number of people were trampled as the pack of 1,300 pound (590 kilogram) bulls sped through the cobblestone streets of Pamplona.
Whereas the runs, held each morning, generally last only a couple of minutes, Thursday morning's event went on for over six minutes as the bulls separated and one even turned back the other direction.
One 48-year-old from Pamplona was gored through the chest, and a 23-year-old from Mexico likewise ended up under the surgeon's knife after a bull planted a horn in his stomach. Others who found themselves on the business end of a bull's horn on Thursday came from Poland, Norway, the US and Germany.
The festival has been an annual event since the 16th century, and involves not only the bull running but also drunken all-night parties on the town's streets. Since records began being kept in 1924, 13 people have been gored to death, the most recent in 1995.