PAMPLONA, Spain (NBC/WFLA) – The first bull run in three years at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain took place on Thursday.
No one was gored, but several runners suffered knocks and hard falls as tens of thousands of party-goers celebrated the return of one of Europe’s most famous traditional events.
The six bulls, guided by six tame oxen, charged through Pamplona’s streets in about 2 minutes and 35 seconds without causing too much carnage among the thousands of people cramming the course.
Several runners were stomped, gored, trampled or shoved onto the cobblestone pavement.
At least two men were smacked in the head by a horn.
The Pamplona Hospital said that six people needed to be brought in for treatment.
Those included a 30-year-old American man was fractured the radius and ulna of his left arm, as well as a 16-year-old Spanish girl who lost part of a finger in the bull ring.
The other four injured were Spanish men between 19 and 45 years old.
This was the first of eight early morning bull runs that are followed by cultural events, as well as drinking and eating, for the rest of the day.
Eight people were gored during the last festival in 2019, before the pandemic.
Sixteen people have died in the bull runs since 1910. The last death occurred in 2009.
The bulls that run each morning are killed in bullfights in the afternoon by professional bullfighters.
Animal rights activists have campaigned against the slaughter of the animals, but the bull fight is still popular among segments of Spanish Society and an integral part of the San Fermin Festival.
The popular festivities that draw tens of thousands of visitors from around the world were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Spain’s strong vaccination program has allowed life to return to more or less normal, but a recent uptick in cases had led Pamplona authorities to recommend using face masks when necessary.