Jul 11, 2016

    Spanish matador killed by 500kg bull


    A SPANISH bullfighter was gored to death in front of horrified spectators on Saturday, the first to be killed in the ring in more than three decades.

    Victor Barrio, 29, was struck in the chest by the massive bull which tossed him in the air before he fell and lay motionless. The incident was captured live on television.

    Other matadors rushed to the rescue, trying to distract the 500kg bull before carrying Barrio from the ring in the eastern town of Teruel.

    Barrio, who made his debut in 2008 and toured rings all over the country, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Tauroemocion, the organiser of the bullfight.

    Spanish President Mariano Rajoy Brey sent his sympathies after the death.

    The Plaza de Las Ventas bullfighting ring in Madrid also paid tribute via Twitter.

    The last bullfighter to be killed in the ring was in 1985, according to Spanish media, when 21-year-old rising star Jose "El Yiyo" Cubero died after being gored through the heart.

    Last year, prominent Spanish bullfighter Francisco "Paquirri" Rivera Ordonez was badly injured after being gored in the groin.

    Bullfighting and related events have come under fire in recent years by animal rights activists who denounce the sport as cruel and dangerous.

    Several regions or cities have put a stop to rings or annual festivals with bull running over the years.

    Last month, animal rights party Pacma won a record number of votes in general elections. It has long campaigned for an end to bullfighting in a country increasingly torn between animal rights activists and others who want to keep an age-old tradition.

    According to official figures, 1,868 bull-related events were held in Spain in 2014.

    Combined, they attracted six million spectators, according to ANOET, the national organisation that arranges such events. It said the "bull business" brings in 3.5 billion euros (S$5.2 billion) annually.