UK & World News

  • 10 July 2014, 0:30

Bull Run Survival Guide Author Gored In Spain

An American who wrote a book about surviving the bull run in Pamplona has been seriously injured after being gored at the annual Spanish festival.

Bill Hillmann, a veteran participant of the event and co-writer of Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, was one of two runners gored on Wednesday.

A 35-year-old Spanish man from Valencia was in more serious condition after being gored in the chest during the same run, according to the festival's website.

Hillmann, a 32-year-old Chicago native, was gored twice in the right thigh, festival organisers said on their website.

His injuries were serious but not life-threatening, the Navarra regional government said.

Photographs showed Hillmann being gored on the ground by a bull as other runners scattered.

British writer Alexander Fiske-Harrison, one of Hillmann's co-authors of the Pamplona book, was metres away and wrote about it in a blog post after visiting his friend in hospital.

He wrote: "He is in surgery now, but seemed okay, indeed happy given the amount of pain killers he was on."

Fiske-Harrison said the bull turned back on the runners before it "found my brother-in-arms Bill".

Earlier, a 23-year-old Briton from Nottingham was taken to hospital after suffering several fractured ribs.

Several people were treated for other less serious injuries the runs that take place during the annual San Fermin festival, which draws up to 300,000 visitors.

It involves six bulls and six steers - gelded bulls - which are released from a holding pen onto the crowded streets to run at breakneck speed towards the city's bullring where they face matadors in an evening bullfight.

This year, tensions rose in the crowd when one bull was separated from the pack in the final 100 metres and tried to charge runners on all sides.

John Ross, 41, from Manchester, who suffered bloodied knees in a fall, said: "I managed to run alongside the bull and then fell over.

"Some bloke pulled me under the wooden fence and out of its way."

His older brother Martin, who scratched his forehead in the run, said: "The first 15 seconds were good. Then I tumbled and people piled into me. I am the guy who people are going to blame for causing them to fall."

Fifteen people have died after being gored since records began in 1924.

The street-partying festival was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

It is thought the tradition was started by butchers who ran ahead of their beasts while bringing them to town for the festival.