It is a longstanding tradition for Danish high school students to celebrate the first day back at school with a party in Dyrehaven.
In recent years, the celebration has become larger. This year, over 8,000 young people – all of them certainly not high school students – descended on the park last Friday.
The massive celebration sent nine youngsters to hospital with cases of severe drunkeness bordering on alcohol poisoning.
Herlev and Gentofte hospitals reported that the children’s admission section at Herlev Hospital received nine severely drunk young people by ambulance last Friday.
All nine were hospitalised – two were admitted to intensive care. The hospital had to shut down the children’s admittance section for a short time and direct patients to other hospitals.
“We were shocked to see so many young people so severely affected,” Jan Toft Holm, the vice president of Herlev and Gentofte hospitals told TV2 News.
“Some of the cases were actually life-threatening. We have never experienced anything like this before.”
Holm said that both parents and the schools should begin “a dialogue” with students about their behaviour at parties.
The young people were released on Saturday morning and the hospital is contacting each of their home municipalities regarding the episode.
Park rangers and local business people also had little good to say about the high school bacchanalia.
One of the rangers, Hans Henrik Christensen, said the students left behind a vast wasteland of rubbish.
“I think it is a pity that they have not learned to clean up after themselves,” Christensen told TV2 Lorry.
Restaurant owner Stephanie Dahl said that the students simply no longer know how to behave.
“It has been more violent – significantly more,” she said.
Even though she hired guards, furniture was stolen from her restaurant and she had to have professionals come in and remove graffiti from the restaurant’s facade.
Despite the fact that several high schools are sending clean-up crews, nature agency Naturstyrelsen estimated that it will take six men working full-time for three full days to clean up the mess the students left behind.