Accidental death toll rises in 2016

Hopes that there would be a reduction in the number of deaths by fire and drowning during 2016 compared to the previous year have proven to be over-optimistic. 

According to figures on the home page of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), there were 95 deaths from fire in 2016, an increase of 7 on 2015's equivalent figure.

For drownings, the figure was 110 in 2016, an increase of 1 on 2015. However, the number of total drownings will be higher as that figure only includes bodies pulled from the water by the VUGD.

And already in 2017 one victim of fire and one victim of drowning have been recorded. The fire victim was a 45-year-old man killed in a house fire January 2 in the village of Kaunata, Rezekne district.

Firefighters said that several of the calls they attended over the New Year period were the result of the incorrect use of pyrotechnics, including a blaze in Riga in which fireworks set fire to a balcony and an 82-year-old man was hospitalized.

During a lively few days, rescuers also found people lost in the woods and cleared an apartment stairwell of tear gas.  

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