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4,000 join Rennes Facebook party

Unofficial event spread by Facebook beats similar party in Nantes last year, with no major incidents reported

MORE than 4,000 people turned up for a "giant aperitif" in the centre of Rennes last night following an anonymous invite on Facebook.

The appeal was launched about a week ago on the social networking site by a local resident, who wanted to do better than the 3,000 people who gathered in Nantes for a similar event last November.

Some 11,000 users said they intended to come along. The Ille-et-Vilaine préfecture closed two nearby metro stations to prevent overcrowding and asked police and ambulance workers for a reinforced presence in the area.

Within five minutes of the 20.00 start time, about 300 people had gathered on the Champ de Mars, bags of food and drink in hand. The square was full by 22.30.

The Nantes event last year saw about 50 people taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning or hypothermia after falling into the Loire river.

This time however, only 20 people were treated on the ground for minor injuries caused by broken glass or drinking too much, and no major problems were reported.

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