A bull gored three runners during the final day of the San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona. Health officials say the injuries took the number of gorings to eight after the week-long event which draws around one million spectators every year.

The bull named Rabanero broke away from a pack of six and charged through Pamplona’s twisting streets on Sunday, wreaking havoc as it ploughed into crowds of runners.

Rabanero reportedly flipped one man over its horns and slammed him onto the cobblestone street before clipping another two runners who were trapped against a wall.

A regional hospital spokesman, Tomas Belzunegui said the man who was tossed by the milk chocolate-coloured bull was gored in the leg while another was gored in the right arm and a third in the armpit. He said all three have been taken to hospital.

The Red Cross also reported that several other injuries came from knocks received from the bulls and steers or from runners tumbling out of the way as they tried to flee from the animals which are killed in the bull ring after the festival.

The six Miura bulls, a fighting breed were brought from a farm which was celebrating a record-extending 53rd showing at the festival. They completed the 930-yard run to the bullring in two minutes and 42 seconds.

The previous seven bull runs of the 2018 festivals had led to five gorings. Three of those injured were Spaniards while the two others were Americans.

The San Fermin fiesta which has beens met with protests from animal rights advocates each year was made famous internationally by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.

Most revellers stay up all night or rise early enough to watch from balconies or barricades as hundreds of runners dressed in the traditional white outfit with a red sash make their mad dash.

On the eve of the festival, dozens of semi-naked activists staged a performance simulating speared bulls lying dead on Pamplona’s streets to draw attention to what they see as animal cruelty for the sake of entertainment.

However, Bull fights are protected under the Spanish Constitution as part of the country’s cultural heritage.