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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4 comments
Mike Michael Johnson
Latvijas amatpersonas ilgstoši ignorē Latvijā dzīvojoša amerikāņu drošības eksperta Maikla Džonsona brīdinājumus par zemo drošības kultūru Latvijā, vēstīja LNT raidījums «Top 10». Džonsons lielu daļu darba mūža pavadījis, strādājot ASV informācijas tehnoloģiju uzņēmumā «Hewlett-Packard», kur rūpējās par drošību kompānijas galvenajā mītnē Silīcija ielejā Kalifornijā. Tagad viņš ir pensijā un kopš 1999.gada dzīvo Latvijā. Problēmas sakne - izpratnes trūkums ASV drošības eksperts norāda, ka Latvija ir maza valsts, kurā notiek pārāk daudz negadījumu. Problēmas sakne esot Latvijas iedzīvotāju izpratnes trūkums par to, cik svarīgi ir ievērot drošības pasākumus - vai tas būtu darba vietā vai uz ceļa. «Latvijas iedzīvotājiem ir jāsāk domāt par drošību. Skolās bērniem māca, kā tīrīt zobus, bet nešķiet, ka tiek mācīts, kā būt drošībā,» savu viedokli skaidroja Džonsons. [...............]
Mike Michael Johnson
The ROOT cause of accidents, injuries and deaths in Latvia is due to the LACK of a Culture of Understanding around Safety.
Mike Michael Johnson
I have for years written to the President of Latvia and other officials urging them to formulate an official committee to prepare what I call a "Culture of Safety" in the Latvian Society. Refer to my last attempt dated 23 June 2013 click link to review [...............] .
Mike Michael Johnson
Latvians as a culture/society has a lack of awareness concern for SAFETY and this has existed for many many years. You see it in daily life both at work and personally as folks go about their day. Workman not using safety equipment, designs of Maxima supermarkets, driving public transports, driving vehicles, in water sports, on the ice over water, riding 2 wheel vehicles and on and on and on. It is a serious FAILURE of basic education at home, in the schools and in workplaces -- and the government officials that don't enforce EXISTING laws and rules. It is SAD and will continue until the people say ENOUGH, get angry and take ACTION !
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