Running of the bulls opens in Pamplona, Spain | News | DW | 07.07.2013
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Running of the bulls opens in Pamplona, Spain

The annual running of the bulls has opened in Pamplona, Spain, with four injuries reported on the first day. The festival, which draws thrill seekers from around the world, continues for another week.

Authorities said four people received non-serious injuries in 2013's first running of the bulls in Pamplona on Sunday.

No one had been gored by the bulls, but a 26-year-old American suffered wounds to his face and a 24-year-old Australian had minor head injures. A 44-year-old British man sustained a knee injury, while a Spanish man fractured his forearm.

The festival features a herd of bulls running through the narrow streets of Pamplona. Those humans who can summon up the nerve run through the streets in front of the animals risk being trampled or skewered by a horn.

In 2012, there were 38 injuries reported from the festival. The last fatality occurred in 2009.

Ernest Hemingway famously wrote about the festival in "The Sun Also Rises" in 1926, lending to its popularity outside of Spain.

The bulls run a route of 850 meters (930 yards), from a holding pen on one end to a bull-fighting ring on the other.

Sunday's run featured a tense moment near the end of the course, with one bull turning back in the wrong direction and facing off against the large crowd of runners who had gathered behind it. With the runners scrambling out of the way should the bull decide to charge, wranglers were able to turn the animal around and headed in the right direction.

The bulls are scheduled to run for another week in Pamplona, with the festival closing on July 14.

mz/rc (dpa, AP, AFP)