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Three people gored running with bulls at Pamplona festival

Five people have been treated in hospital after the opening bull run of this year’s Pamplona festival in Spain.

Officials in the northern Spanish city said a 46-year-old man from California had been gored in the neck in the city’s bullring, at the end of the 850-metre course.

He was undergoing surgery.

A 23-year-old man from Kentucky and a 40-year-old Spanish man were both gored in their thighs.

Two young Spanish men sustained head injuries.

The nine-day fiesta, where six bulls are run every morning in the city’s narrow streets, draws around one million visitors annually, including many tourists from the United States.

Every year, hundreds of runners race ahead of or next to the bulls, while the more risk averse watch from balconies.

Some arrive following in the steps of American novelist and Nobel literature laureate Ernest Hemingway, who became fascinated by bullfighting and immortalised the festival in his 1926 book The Sun Also Rises.

Sunday morning’s inaugural run featured bulls from the Puerto de San Lorenzo cattle breeder, which also caused one goring last year.

The pack dashed together along the cobble-stoned, barricaded street course.

Toward the end, one of the bulls stumbled briefly, causing panic and at least one goring when it resumed the race and charged at some of the racers.

The Red Cross said its emergency personnel had attended to an additional 48 people for minor injuries, including two who had been trampled by the racing bulls.

The run, which lasted two minutes and 41 seconds, came after the festival’s official opening — or Chupinazo — on Friday, when tens of thousands of party-goers shower each other with wine and champagne in a packed square.

The annual festival also includes music performances, traditional sports and dance displays, a religious procession to honour the patron saint, a firework competition and endless partying.