Medics: 11 drowned over Midsummer in Latvia

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In 11 cases over the Midsummer holidays, a decision to go swimming has ended tragically, Sarmite Skujina, spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), told Latvian Television on June 25.

Alcohol was involved in some of the cases. According to statistics from the National Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), a total of 55 people have already drowned this year.

However, a number of water tragedies have managed to be avoided by helping people to shore in time. 

Overall, the number of calls to NMPD did not increase compared to regular weekends. Saturday, June 20 gave a bad start to the holidays when two people died and five more were injured in a car accident on the Daugavpils highway.

Medics also had a lot of work on the Midsummer day and night, when injuries happened mostly due to festivities and alcohol consumption. Ten people were treated for burns, failing to jump over fires in a traditional manner, while in three cases people got burns trying to light a grill or fire. Among the injured are also children who touched a hot grill with their hands or stepped onto hot coals.

This year there were no tragic cases of food choking, although there were four such calls, NMPD says.

Police also had a busy time, with their annual crackdown on drunk driving leading to the detention of 80 drivers over the limit. Police observed that this year, the drunk drivers are generally older than last year - mostly between the ages of 31 and 45.


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