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Rowdy start to the new year in Sweden

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Rowdy start to the new year in Sweden
11:09 CET+01:00
Police were kept busy during the last evening of 2011 with celebrations all over Sweden getting out of hand and resulting in brawling and firework accidents.

At least five people were severely injured by fireworks as they celebrated New Year's Eve. In Stockholm an inebriated man was trapped under a tram which had to be lifted before he could be taken to hospital.

A 13-year-old boy was brought to hospital as he was severely injured in the leg when a firework piece exploded in Limhamn outside of Malmö in southern Sweden. Within a few minutes another four people were injured in the Skåne region.

A 25-year-old man was injured in the face by a firework in Teckomatorp, and a person in Ängelholm was taken to hospital with damages to the face and hand. Another two people were brought to hospital after being injured by fireworks.

Despite intense firework displays, no one was reported injured by fireworks in Sweden's two biggest cities Stockholm and Gothenburg.

However, many cases of assault, fights and drunkenness were reported in Skåne, Blekinge and Gothenburg, where police had a busy night.

In the Västra Götaland region, twice as many reports were filed compared to a regular night of the weekend. 400 emergency calls were made.

There were also 39 fires in the region, three cases of rape, 57 cases of assault, and 50 people were arrested for drunkenness.

In the Gävleborg region three dogs went missing, running off as a result of the frightening bangs of the fireworks.

Two people were taken to the hospital in Kalmar with facial injuries following a brawl in which they were hit by fireworks.

In the Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen, a man was stabbed and in Husby, the metro station was closed off after youths threw in fireworks.

However, the rowdiness all across Sweden came as no surprise to authorities.

"It's all in the name of alcohol. Drunkenness, fights and fuss. Totally according to our expectations," the police chief in Norrbotten told news agency TT.

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