PANAFIEL, Spain, Aug. 17 (Ed Adamczyk) — Four people died during “running of the bulls” events across Spain over the weekend, bringing the number of people gored to death this summer to seven.
The ceremonial proceedings, in which bulls, destined for bull fighting are driven through streets from rail yards to the “corrida” or bullfighting stadium, as amateur daredevils run before them, has a long heritage at Spanish festivals. The raucous event at Pamplona, immortalized in Ernest Hemingway‘s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises,” has made the annual pastime across Spain a famous and inviting, if hazardous, spectacle.
The festival season begins in July and the seven deaths thus far this year came from incidents with bulls, not trampling by crowds or within the bullrings themselves. Over the weekend Jose Alberto Penas, Traspinedo town council member died in Penafiel, north of Madrid, as did an unidentified competitor in Larin, 18, after being gored.
Rafsle Minano died in the town of Blanca after he was trapped on a bull’s horns, suffering a torn femoral artery, abdominal wounds and two heart attacks, medics said. Another unidentified victim died at an event Friday in Museros on Spain’s east coast.
The seven victims this summer participated in “running of the bulls” events in five Spanish provinces; bullfighting remains a popular sport in Spain, and is regarded as part of the country’s cultural heritage by a 2013 preservation law. Only two provinces, the Canary Islands and Catalonia, have banned it.