Early closing 'pre-loading' causes havoc

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 10:01 31/03/2013

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Drunk revellers pouring from pubs that closed at midnight are keeping Christchurch police and hospital staff busy today.

Christchurch Hospital's emergency department was so busy last night patients had to be treated in corridors.

Bars and clubs closed at midnight, ahead of today's Easter Sunday non-trading day.

A police spokesman said ''pre-loaded'' people ''went hard'', drinking to excess before midnight, leaving today's staff busy bailing people arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour.

"There was a lot of problems and a lot of disorder,'' he said.

"It was keeping [police] busy throughout the South Island.''

A Canterbury District Health Board spokesman said Christchurch Hospital was ''extremely busy''.

''We had people out in corridors at times.''

Injuries were mostly alcohol-related and police had to be called ''on a number of occasions'' to deal with drunk patients.

The 24 Hour Surgery on Bealey Ave was also busy with patients waiting roughly one hour to be seen.

A St John spokesman said it was a particularly busy night for the ambulance service.

Neither service yet had statistics on the number of jobs they attended.

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- The Press

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