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Two drown on Midsummer's Eve

Reports of fights, public disturbances and illegal bonfires have kept police busy around Finland.

Kokko palaa juhannusaattona Keski-Suomessa.
A reader's photo of an illegal bonfire in central Finland. Image: Lukijan kuva

So far, two people have drowned over the holiday weekend.

In south-western Finland a 67-year-old man drowned in a pond on Friday afternoon while a woman of the same age drowned while swimming in central Finland, according to rescue officials.

Inebriated drivers kept police busy, with residents calling in tip-offs of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol.

Several saunas meanwhile caught fire on Friday, particularly in the Pirkanmaa region.

Fire services tackle bonfires

Rescue workers also put out dozens of illegal bonfires.

“People are used to lighting bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve, and rescue departments have a difficult time properly monitoring bonfires when warnings are in force for forest or brush fires,” Pentti Partanen of the Central Finland rescue department told Yle.

The law forbids lighting any kind of open fire when meteorological warnings are in force for grass or forest fires. Those lighting a fire in open air under these conditions face a fine if convicted.

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