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Midsummer relatively calm, say police

Police report that Midsummer has been peaceful, though more motorists than usual have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Juhannuskokko Tornionjoen varrella Ylitornion Aavasaksalla.
A Midsummer bonfire in Finnish Lapland. Image: Risto Koskinen / Yle

Friday night—Midsummer's Eve—passed off relatively calmly around Finland. Officials said the windy and rainy weather put a damper on revellers. Police have been called out mainly to deal with drunk driving and minor assaults.

Twelve people—some of them children—were rescued in a boating accident in Rantasalmi, an eastern Finnish town. Rescue workers suspect that one passenger may have drowned in the accident. In Leppävirta, also in the east, a pedestrian was taken to hospital after being hit by a car.

Police in Ostrobothnia have seen more drunk driving cases than usual, while police in Uusimaa were alerted to deal with fuel theft. Sauna fires are also keeping rescue centres busy.

Strong winds on Friday caused some 20,000 households to lose power in eastern parts, though most power lines were restored by Saturday morning.

Midsummer traditionally marks the start of the Finnish summer holiday season with many families making an annual exodus to their summer cottages to enjoy the unique experience of wood sauna and midsummer bonfires.

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