Rescue Board: Alcohol driving up accidents, accidental deaths ({{commentsTotal}})

Director-general of the Rescue Board, Kuno Tammearu.
Director-general of the Rescue Board, Kuno Tammearu. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Presenting the Rescue Board’s 2016 statistics on Wednesday, Director-General Kuno Tammearu pointed out that 77% of all victims who died in fires last year were intoxicated when they did.

According to Tammearu, 38 people died in fires in 2016. A large share of them had been drunk when the accident happened, and this was a growing trend. "The consumption of alcohol needs to be reduced, this is a problem," he said.

At the same time, this is the smallest number of the last few years. In the previous three years some 50 people a year had died in fires. The Rescue Board had systematically worked to prevent this kind of accident since 2006, and now the results were becoming visible, Tammearu pointed out.

Also, in 2016 a total of 45 people drowned, 43% of whom were drunk when it happened. A lot of them hadn’t been fishermen, as the stereotype goes, but rather swimmers.

Tammearu said that it was the aim of the Rescue Board to cut the number of fire deaths to 12 a year, and the number of deaths by drowning to 20. Measures would help like improving how children were taught to swim, along with making life vests mandatory in certain situations and changing alcohol policy.

Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt commented that the only way to reduce alcohol consumption was to limit its availability.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn