500kg bull stomps man to death during bull-running festival

A bull-running festival ended in tragedy when a 74-year-old pensioner was gored to death by an animal weighing half a tonne.

The man was watching the "Toro Embolao of Vejer" in Spanish town Vejer de la Frontera in the Cadiz province when the 520-kilo bovine turned on him in a cul-de-sac.

While Juan José Varo's companion managed to haul himself up on railings to safety, the victim lost his balance as he tried to climb onto a wall by a bar.

The pensioner fell to the ground and into the path of the bull.

He was attacked on three separate occasions and suffered a punctured lung, as well as several broken ribs and vertebrae.

The pensioner fell to the ground and into the path of the bull (Photo: Courtesy)

The Cadiz resident was rushed to hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit, but did not recover from his multiple injuries.

Members of the crowd behind a barrier had managed to pull Juan to safety, but rescue workers were unable to get to him for several minutes until the bull was tempted away from the scene.

Paramedics also treated a woman who fainted at the scene of the incident and another man who was injured by the same bull. He needed seven stitches.

A spokesman for the local council said it was an unfortunate accident as the man who died usually watched the Bull Run from behind the barriers.

The bulls used in the festival have "balls" attached to the tip of their horns in a bid to protect spectators if they are charged at.

However, the event is still fraught with danger because of the size and weight of the animals.

A spokesman for the local council said it was an unfortunate accident (Photo: Courtesy)

The festival has been celebrated in the hill-top town since 1976 and consists of the running of two bulls through the streets on Easter Sunday.

It is watched by thousands of people and is considered a major tourist attraction for Vejer.

In Pamplona, which hosts Spain's most famous Bull Run, 15 people have died since 1910.

Each year between 50 and 100 people are injured in the festivities, which have six bulls running through the Basque city.

In 2002 animal rights organisation PETA launched the 'Running of the Nudes'.

The event takes place two days before the Pamplona festival and has dozens of naked people running 800m in protest of the treatment of the cattle.


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