A celebrated matador was fatally gored in a French bullring before a horrified audience after he tripped on his cape.
The death of Basque matador Ivan Fandino, whose chest was pierced by a horn of a bull called Burp, was the second fatal goring of a Spanish matador in a year. Fandino, 36, died Saturday after the violent confrontation at the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival near Pau in southern France, the BBC reported.
Warning: The following video contains graphic footage.
The disturbing scene began when the bull appeared to first nick Fandino with a horn during a pass, as seen in the graphic video above.
As the matador turned from the bull, his feet became entangled in his cape, which he dropped and he fell. The animal then attacked Fandino as the audience gasped repeatedly, even as other matadors attempted to distract the bull.
Fandino was carried from the ring and rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was declared dead with injuries to his lung, heart and kidneys. He suffered two heart attacks en route to the hospital, Agence France Press reported.
The bull was put down.
The shocking death will likely renew heated debate about the violent sport and the toll it takes on the animals and bullfighters who face them in the ring.
The sport is particularly controversial in France, where close to 1,000 bulls a year are killed for sport. A matador hasn’t been killed in the ring in France for almost a century. The sport was officially declared legal in France in 2012 after a challenge by animal rights activists.
Bullfighter Victor Barrio, 29, was fatally gored on live TV last July in Spain. He was the first matador killed in that country in 30 years.
The Spanish royal family mourned Fandino’s passing Sunday, and French bullfighter Sebastien Castella lamented that “death has taken a friend and ... part of our souls.”
Fandino suffered significant injuries two years ago when a bull tossed him in the air in Pamplona, Spain, and in 2014 when he was knocked unconscious at a bullfight in France. He is survived by a wife and daughter.
The sport remains popular in Spain where some 1,800 events a year occur before millions of fans.