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Running of the bulls chaos sees seven in hospital as crowds watch beasts charge

Thousands of thrill-seekers narrowly avoided being gored by angry bulls as seven men were raced to hospital during a festival that sees the huge beasts rampage down Spain’s streets.

Chaos erupted during Pamplona’s San Fermin event as runners tried to dodge the deadly stampede as massive crowds lined the streets to watch on.

Six terrifying bulls stormed through the 875-metre course, managing to scratch one adrenaline-junkie with its horn and gash another.

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After the bull reaches the end of the run, it is put into a ring alongside fighters who battle it to the death.

Since 2010, 16 people have been killed by bulls during the festival but fighters still vow to keep their tradition going.

Fuming activists slam the event every year for its animal cruelty amid thousands of calls for it to be scrapped.

One commenter wrote: “Bull running in San Fermin Festival in Spain should be banned, it's nothing but pure cruelty.”

Whilst another added: “The cruel San Fermin festival where bulls and oxen are tortured and killed has begun… end this bloody tradition.”

A statement from animal rights group PETA described the fighters as a “terrifying mob” and said: “Bulls are sentient beings with unique personalities and complex social relations.

“At only 5 years old, they're brought to Pamplona to face a terrifying mob of people who chase them through the narrow streets of the city.

“They often lose their footing around corners and crash into walls, sometimes breaking bones or injuring themselves in other ways.

“They are then repeatedly taunted in the bullring, forced to run to the point of exhaustion, and stabbed with multiple weapons."

The controversial tradition dates back to as early as the 13th century and is thought to have started when traders cleared the streets to transport their livestock through the city.

It now attracts swarms of excited tourists who gather to watch the mayhem as runners donning red and white dress leap to evade the storming animals.

Whilst expert bull runners from Pamplona try to sprint in front of the furious bulls, there are hundreds of novices who line the streets to scramble out the way at the last minute too.

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The weeklong festival isn't just about bullfighting and also showcases traditional local events with singing and mass decorations.

This weekend marked Pamplona's bullring's 100th anniversary.

Although it was cancelled for the previous two years due to coronavirus restrictions, its return proved just as popular as before.

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