A 36-year-old matador has been killed by a bull in France after tripping on his cape and being impaled by a horn.
Prize bullfighter Ivan Fandino, who had been a professional for 12 years, died in hospital after his heart, lungs and kidneys were punctured yesterday.
The Spaniard, from the Basque region, leaves behind a wife and daughter after his death at the Corrida des Fetes in Aire-sur-l'Adour, France.
'It's a tragedy,' said a shocked colleague. 'We just do not know how it could have happened.'
Fandino’s wife Cayetana was today with her baby daughter, Mara, as she arranged to have her husband's body returned to the family home in Orduna, south of Bilbao on Spain’s northern coast, for a funeral service.
Horrified spectators looked on as Fandino tripped and was gored by the bull - a five-year-old Balstar named Burp - which also launched him into the air.
‘Ivan was caught by surprise and suffered the consequences,’ said a member of the crowd. ‘People were cheering to begin with, thinking everything was under control.
‘Then we realised that Ivan was very badly hurt, and he was rushed away by other matadors, supported by paramedics.’
He was using his cape in a turn to engage and distract the specially-bred fighting bull, and the animal then pierced the matador's side with one of his horns.
His wounds were so serious, his heart stopped while he was in an ambulance.
Burp, who weighed more than half a tonne, was also severely injured in the incident, and was later killed.
Tributes are flooding in on the social network sites, with rancher Victorino Martin tweeting: 'Our friend and great bullfighter Ivan Fandino dies in France. A great loss for the world of bullfighting. We are dismayed.'
Fandino came from Orduna in Bizkaia. He wanted to become a bullfighter from the age of 14, even though it was not a family tradition, and made his debut in 2005.
He had been injured at least twice in previous events - once in 2015, when thrown into the air by a bull in Pamplona, Spain, but more seriously the year before when he was knocked unconscious in Bayonne, France.
Fandino is the second Spanish bullfighter to die in the ring in the past year.
Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull in front of spectators last July, the first time since the early 1990s a professional matador had died in the ring in Spain.
Barrio, who was 29, was killed in the bullring at Teruel in the north of Spain.
He was the first Spanish matador to die in the arena since 1992.
Fandino had been invited to take part in the 18th celebration of the San Isidro Fair.
Commenting on Fandino's death, the Humane Society International said it was a 'tragedy' and called for bullfighting to be banned in France.
But it added: 'For the 1,000 bulls brutally killed in French bullfights every year, every single fight is a tragedy in which they have no chance of escaping a protracted and painful death.
'Bloodsports like this should be consigned to the history books, no-one should lose their life for entertainment, human or animal.'
Bullfighting originated in Spain, but took root in France a century and a half ago. Fights - known as corridas in Spanish - are especially popular in the Nimes and Arles areas of southern France.
Credit: Daily Mail