Australian gored at Spain bull run in "very serious" condition

PAMPLONA, Spain Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:48pm IST

An unidentified 23-year-old Australian woman is taken away to the hospital after getting gored by a Miura fighting bull during the last running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Urquizu

An unidentified 23-year-old Australian woman is taken away to the hospital after getting gored by a Miura fighting bull during the last running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ivan Urquizu

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PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) - A 23-year-old Australian woman gored in the chest on the final day of Spain's annual San Fermin bull-running festival was in a "very serious" condition, local authorities said on Sunday.

The woman, who was only identified by her initials J.E., was injured during the early morning run, where bulls chase people down the cobbled streets of Pamplona in northeast Spain, and immediately taken to hospital for surgery.

She suffered several fractured ribs and damage to her right lung, according to a medical report released by authorities.

The bull run is believed to date to the 13th century but is known to have continued virtually every year since 1592, when the festival was shifted from September to July. People are thought to have joined the running herd sometime in the 1800s.

The festival, which runs for one week, was made famous internationally by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises", and it attracts thousands of foreign visitors.

Three Spaniards and one American were also injured on Sunday, authorities said. Two of the Spaniards were described as having "light" injuries, while the diagnosis for the other two runners had not yet been released.

On Saturday, a 19-year-old Spaniard was left in a "very serious" condition after runners fell and piled up at the entrance to the bullring, where the run ends. Several people were trampled.

On Friday, three men were gored, including an American who had his spleen removed.

The San Fermin bull run came under state regulation in 1867 and there have been 14 deaths there over the past century. The last person to die was a 27-year-old from Madrid gored in the neck by a bull in 2009.

Runners dress all in white with red neckerchiefs and many spectators stay up drinking all night in bars beforehand. After the run, bulls are usually killed by bullfighters in the ring.

(Reporting by Susana Vera and Clare Kane; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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