Nearly 400 persons suffered injuries from bulls, Cruz Roja says

The bulls have stopped running at three locations in the Central Valley, and plenty of Costa Ricans will be limping and holding their ribs for some weeks.

The Cruz Roja reported as of early Sunday that 397 persons had been treated for encounters with bulls. Some 78 required further treatment at clinics and hospitals. A few were bull riders.

There were a few more added to the list Sunday afternoon in events at both the Zapote fairgrounds and the new bull ring at Pedregal. The numbers are not accurate because there was a third ring at Paraiso de Cartago that is not included in the Cruz Roja figures.

Some participants in toros a las Tica suffered real beatings Sunday, and the television news shows aired clips repeatedly. The major channels also covered live most of the encounters.

These are the events where up to 100 individuals test their bravery by getting into the ring with a 1,100-pound bull. This appears to be a uniquely Costa Rican practice.

With the end of the Zapote fiesta and the holidays, Costa Ricans are supposed to return to work today. Some will have prolonged their holiday by applying vacation days. Traffic appeared moderate Sunday afternoon on major highways.

Law enforcement and the Cruz Roja will be reporting in detail the injuries and tragedies of the holidays later today.

The judicial morgue already reported that 27 persons died in vehicle mishaps from Dec. 19, the start of the holiday through New Year’s Day. In the same period there were 22 murders, the morgue said. The count is authoritative because all victims of violent deaths go to the morgue.

Added to the traffic toll are weekend deaths

Two men died in a traffic mishap in Damas de Quepos Saturday about 1:35 p.m. Saturday when their vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle. A 4 year old in the o

The bull encounters filled the grandstands.

The bull encounters filled the grandstands.

ther car suffered substantial injuries and was taken to the Hospital Nacional de Niños. An 18 year old in the vehicle with the two victims also was injured, said agents.

In a Cartago location known as Navarro de Muñeco, a 14 year old died when a pickup carrying at least nine persons in the truck bed plunged down a cliff. The victim was one of those riding in the truck bed. The individual at the wheel faces a drunk driving prosecution, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The accident took place about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Two persons died about 4:30 a.m. Sunday in Coyol de Alajuela when the vehicle in which they were riding struck a railroad bridge abutment. The vehicle burst into flames, and agents were unable to make an immediate identification. The vehicle was headed from San José west on the Interamericana highway.

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