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Accident deaths in Estonia down in 2019

Rescue Board fire truck attending an incident.
Rescue Board fire truck attending an incident. Source: Rescue Board

Traffic, fire, water and occupational accidents claimed 148 lives in Estonia in 2019, the lowest figure in recent years, and down from 171 in 2018, Baltic News Service reports.

The improvement, which is based on preliminary and not final figures, was particularly noticeable regarding road traffic accidents, with the number of people who lost their lives down by 14 on year.

As reported on ERR News, the number of people who perished in occupational accidents, however, increased in 2019.

The figures may change somewhat as some cases are still under investigation, though a revised figure will be available later in January, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) says.

Berit-Helena Lamp, communications adviser at the Rescue Board (Päästamet), also said that the analysis of last year's data is still ongoing and conclusions can be made in mid-January.

Kristel Abel, spokesperson for the Labor Inspectorate (Tööinspektsioon), added that the authority is not ready to thoroughly comment on last year's figures just yet.

Traffic accidents

January is often the deadliest month for traffic accidents, which was also the case in 2019 when eight people died. Similar figures were recorded for June and August, however. The total number of road traffic fatalities came to 53, according to BNS; the figure has consistently been below 100 per year the past decade, with 1991 being the deadliest year at close to 500 road traffic fatalities.

The overall number of traffic accidents decreased from 1,474 in 2018 to 1,386 in 2019, with the number of injuries arising similarly decreasing, from 1,701 to 1,386 respectively, BNS reports.

Pedestrian fatalities were up one in 2019, to 13, compared with the previous year.

Fire-related and drowning fatalities figures

While 44 people overall lost their lives in fire-related accidents in 2019, fire deaths numbered 12 in December, i.e. over a quarter of the total, in part impacted by the December 11 house fire which killed a family of five.

Altogether 36 people lost their lives as a result of water-related accidents in 2019, seven fewer than in 2018, BNS reports, with summer months being the deadliest. A relatively cool summer may have accounted for a fall in drownings during these months, however.

The emergency services number in Estonia is 112, as it is in most EU member states.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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