By Al Goodman
MADRID (CNN) — Two Britons and an American were gored Monday, the third day of the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, authorities said.
Those three are among seven runners who were rushed to the hospital Monday after the fighting bulls raced through the narrow cobblestone streets of old town Pamplona.
There have been 15 deaths since record-keeping began in 1924 and thousands of injuries in the tradition that dates back 400 years.
The overall injury count this year — following just three of the eight consecutive days of running, through July 14 — is 15 runners hospitalized, including four who were gored.
Those sent to the hospital so far are two Britons, two Americans, a Japanese, an Australian and nine Spaniards. The only Spaniard gored so far was a 73-year-old man from Pamplona on Saturday, the first day of the running, authorities reported.
Dozens of other runners have been treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Author Ernest Hemingway wrote about the bull running in his 1920s novel, “The Sun Also Rises” (also published under the title “Fiesta,”) and crowds have poured in from around the globe ever since. The town has erected a statue to Hemingway outside the bullring.
On Monday, two British men, 20 and 29 years old, were gored in their right and left legs, respectively; an American man, 39, was gored in the right leg; and another American man, 38, suffered ankle and knee injuries and also was sent to the hospital, authorities said.
Six fighting bulls from the Cebada Gago ranch rushed from the corrals Monday, accompanied by six tame steers to help guide them toward the bullring.
All of the pack entered the bullring at 2 minutes, 26 seconds after the race began, according to images of Spanish state television. But a lone black bull was left behind in the crowd for a full minute afterward, causing tension for the runners around it. The bull charged into some runners, appearing to cause injuries, before finally entering the bullring to end the race at 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
Images from Monday also showed a man with his left arm around a woman’s shoulder, as they ran together downhill into the bullring, just ahead of the raging bulls. The woman suddenly fell to the ground, but the hospital report Monday listed only seven men, no women.
The bulls face certain death against matadors later in the day.
The running of the bulls is the marquee event of the weeklong fiesta, named for Pamplona’s patron saint, San Fermin. It includes nonstop activities — including concerts, parades and amusement park rides — that aim to appeal to all ages. The event is a huge boon to the local economy.
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