A reveler tries to escape a bull in the bull ring, at the end of third running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas, in Pamplona northern Spain, Monday, July 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — A bull gored two Britons and an American during the running of the bulls through the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona on Monday, officials said.
Thousands of daredevil runners charged for the third day ahead of six fighting bulls of the annual San Fermin festival on Monday, when the three were gored by an animal that broke free from the pack just before entering the city's bullring, a Navarre regional government statement said.
The bull charged the runners as they huddled on the ground beside a wooden fence, trying to protect themselves from the beast. After several moments of tension, the animal was lured away by stick-wielding cowherds. None of the three was seriously injured.
The morning runs are the highlight of the annual San Fermin festival, which became world famous with the publication of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."
The regional government said one Briton, aged 20, was gored in the right leg while the other, aged 29, was gored in the left leg. The American, 38, from Philadelphia, was gored in the right calf muscle.
The three, identified only by their initials, were taken to the city's Navarra Hospital. The American was later released.
Four other people were treated for cuts and bruises sustained in the adrenaline-fueled dash along the 849-meter (928-yard) course Monday. The run lasted just over three minutes.
The bulls from the Cebado Gago breeding ranch were herded from a holding pen in the city center to the bullring, where they are normally killed by matadors in afternoon bullfights.
Fifteen people have been killed by bulls in the runs since record began to be kept in 1924.
The runs take place daily until July 14 and are broadcast on state television.
Ciaran Giles contributed to this report from Madrid.