Update: The dark side of Midsummer 2019 – 6 dead in Latvia

Overall, 70 drunk drivers were caught, 6 people died throughout Līgo and Jāņi, reported LSM's Latvian service on June 25.

Six lives were lost during the midsummer celebration. One man was run over by a car on a road near Carnikava on Līgo, and on Jāņi, medics failed to save a man who was choking on meat. Firefighters, on the other hand, pulled out four drowning victims out of various waters during the holidays. 

Andris Locs, Deputy Chief of the State Police Transport Monitoring and Coordination Office, has judged this year's festival to have been a peaceful one. 

“The holidays passed calmly, without any major accidents. Unfortunately, one person died, but all in all we have judged this year's holidays as peaceful. It's hard to say if people have become [more responsible], as 70 people were driving under the influence. The majority of them were at the wheel with a BAC of 1,5 per mille,” said Locs.

The State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) were also very busy.

“Yes, until yesterday afternoon, VUGD would have asserted that the holidays had passed peacefully, but then on Jāņi, a man perished in a fire caused, perhaps, because of inattentive smoking. In that regard, this year's holidays were similar to last year's. Our experience tells us that the cause of most disasters is foolhardiness, carelessness, and alcohol. The tendency doesn't really change from year to year – garden houses, hay sheds, woodsheds or overheated saunas catch fire. On Saturday, 4 people drowned. 2 of them were found on Saturday, and 2 found on Sunday,” explained the VUGD spokeswoman Inta Palkavniece.

As reported in an earlier story, 300 people were injured during Līgo. The spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Care Service Elīna Jurēvica stated that on the second day of the holidays – June 24 – a smaller number of people required medical help, although cases of children receiving burns had increased. The medical services also recorded a fatality on Jāņi: “If the first day passed without any lethal accidents, then on Jāņi, unfortunately, a man died choking on a piece of meat.”

The police will continue carefully monitoring Latvian roads on Tuesday, June 25. Drivers should make sure that a significant amount of time has passed since the consumption of alcohol before sitting behind the wheel. 

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