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Rogue bull kills festival runner

A CHARGING bull gored a young Spanish man to death at Pamplona's San Fermin festival yesterday, the first such fatality in nearly 15 years.

Nine others were injured in a particularly dangerous and chaotic chapter of the running of the bulls.

They included a 61-year-old American who is in intensive care.

Pamplona officials identified the dead man as Daniel Jimeno Romero, 27, from Madrid. He was on vacation with his parents and girlfriend, who identified him.

The San Fermin festival Website said Romero was gored in the neck and lung during a run in which a rogue bull named Capuchino separated from the pack, which is among the worst things that can happen at Spain's most popular fiesta.

Isolated bulls are more likely to get disoriented and start charging at people.

Photographs showed Romero on a stretcher moments after the goring, his face and neck stained with blood and his eyes only half-open. An emergency medical worker was leaning over him, applying what appeared to be gauze to his neck wound.

Three other people were gored, and six people suffered bumps, bruises and other lesser injuries, said Fernando Boneta, director of Virgen del Camino Hospital. Among the injured was a 61-year-old American who was struck in the chest and had internal bleeding in his lungs. Doctors said he was in intensive care but his condition was not considered life-threatening.

The man was identified by his initials, E.P.S. His full name was not released.

Also injured in the run was a 20-year-old from London, and a 24-year-old Argentine. Another American, a 63-year-old identified by the initials K.L., injured an elbow.

The festival ends on Tuesday, and there was no indication that the remaining bull runs would be canceled because of the death.

The last fatal goring at the running of the bulls was that of 22-year-old American Matthew Tassio in 1995. In 2003, a 63-year-old Spanish man, Fermin Etxeberri, was trampled in the head by a bull and died after months in a coma. Friday's death raises to 15 the toll since record-keeping began in 1924.

Fatalities are relatively rare and when one occurs it serves as a reminder that amid all the street parties and revelry associated with San Fermin, running with bulls weighing 600 kilograms or more on packed cobblestone streets is highly dangerous.


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