1. ITV Report

Spain: Four injured on first day of Running of the Bulls

Spain's famous San Fermin bull run got underway today, with four people hospitalised in the controversial chase on its first day.

Runners dress in white with red neckerchiefs and many spectators stay up drinking all night in bars beforehand. Credit: Reuters

The race forms part of a week-long festival in the northern city of Pamplona in honour of the co-patron saint of the Nevarra region.

One runner was gored in the thigh on the first day, and another three suffered fractures during the 2-and-a-half minute race, according to the Red Cross.

A man watches from the floor as a bull charges towards him. Credit: Reuters

Huge crowds mass to the fiesta each year, during which hundreds are chased by the creatures down a half-mile course of narrow streets.

Throughout its history, injuries have been common at the Running of the Bulls, with 15 deaths reported since 1910.

A fighting cow leaps over festival goers as she enters the ring. Credit: Reuters

To reduce the number of injuries, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers line the streets, ready to treat anyone left hurt.

The run takes place every morning at 8am throughout the week, and is launched when a firecracker announces their release from their corral.

A runner falls in front of the Torrestrella fighting bulls. Credit: Reuters

It ends at Pamplona's bull ring, where the beasts will later be killed by bullfighters.

Tens of thousands turned out yesterday to celebrate the start of the festival, holding red scarves to mark the start of 204 hours of music, dancing, drinking and bullfighting.

Thousands celebrated the start of the festival in Pamplona on Sunday. Credit: Reuters