Three injured in final Pamplona bull-run

PAMPLONA, Spain - At least three people were injured Thursday, none of them seriously, in falls during the final bull run of Spain's San Fermin festival, officials said.

The injured suffered bruises and cuts in spills and were being treated in hospital, a spokeswoman for the festival organisers said. No other details on the injured were immediately available.

The six bulls and six steers wearing bells charged 846.6 metres from a pen to the northern city of Pamplona's bullring in just two minutes 20 seconds.

That brings to at least 41 the total number of people taken to hospital to treat injuries suffered during all eight bull runs held annually in Pamplona as part of the festival, including four who were gored.

In the most serious injury of the year, Mikel Sabate suffered a 20-centimetre-deep goring Tuesday that broke through his diaphram but missed his vital organs.

He remains in hospital after undergoing a three-hour operation but his life is not in danger.

"When you are gored, you feel as if you have been stabbed, like a truck has run over you. My back was covered in blood, but those are the risks of the bull run," the 40-year-old Pamplona resident told reporters from his hospital bed.

A 25-year-old Australian man was gored in his right thigh during Friday's bull run after he taunted one of the bulls and a 23-year-old Frenchman was gored the following day, less seriously.

Every year between 200 and 300 participants in the run are injured, around three per cent seriously. Most are hurt after falling but some are trampled or gored by the bulls despite increased safety measures.

The last death occurred two years ago when a bull gored a 27-year-old Spaniard to death, piercing his neck, heart and lungs with its horns in front of hordes of tourists.

The festival features concerts, folk dancing, religious processions and round-the-clock street drinking in addition to the early morning bull runs and evening bull fights.

It will officially come to an end at midnight when thousands of people gather in the square in front of city hall to hold candles and sing a mournful song lamenting the end of the festivities called "Pobre de Mi" or "Poor Me".