One person gored on opening day of Pamplona bull runs

Running of the bulls

Running of the bulls

On the opening day of the 2018 festival, which fell on a Saturday, traditionally the most unsafe day of the festival due to the number of people who participate, one person was gored and a further four received minor injuries.

According to the Pamplona government, on average hundreds of people are injured every year during the festival, although few require medical treatment - falling and grazes are far more common than injuries caused by bulls or pile ups in the crowd.

The other men are of Spanish nationality and include a 38-year-old who was gored and a 40-year-old who sustained serious traumatic injuries.

They have all been admitted to hospital, officials said.

Overnight rain had made the route's already-narrow cobbled streets more slippery than usual, adding to the danger in the traditional race.

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The majority of runners are men - women have only been allowed to take part since 1974.

Chicago-born Hillmann, 36, first took part in 2005 and has since become a devoted fan, later authoring a book on his experiences, bull running and the local culture.

Since 1910, 16 runners have died - the last one in 2009.

Past year more than 17,000 people took part, with 64 injured, seven of them gored.

The start of San Fermin was overshadowed by the release on bail just before the festival of five men, who called themselves "The Pack".

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