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Oktoberfest death 'shocks' school

A FORMER Sunshine Coast teacher who died at the German beer festival, Oktoberfest, was well-liked at the school where he taught.

Darren Duggan was crushed by a train after celebrating in Munich with a 25-year-old New Zealand man at the festival that centres around drinking beer.

Investigators believe the former Sunshine Coast Grammar School English teacher and his Kiwi companion were returning to a campsite around 1.20am when they wandered across the tracks of the S-Bahn (overland train) and failed to notice an approaching train.

The younger man was not injured but was treated for shock.

Grammar principal Nigel Fairbairn said the 38-year-old, who was also a keen cricketer, was a valued member of the school community before he left in 2008 after teaching there for three years.

"Darren was a very likeable and loyal person with a strong sense of humour," Mr Fairbairn said.

"(He) was a valued member of our school community who was well-known for his great sense of humour.

"We are all shocked and saddened by the news of his death.

"His wife, daughter and family are in our thoughts."

Mr Fairbairn was also Mr Duggan's principal at Scotts PGC College in Warwick when Mr Duggan started his teaching career.

Mr Duggan was attending the festival with an organised tour by a group called the Fanatics.

Head of the Fanatics supporters group, Warren Livingston, confirmed a tour member had been killed while attending Oktoberfest, but would not elaborate on the incident.

"It was an accident last night. Now we're working with local police and authorities to get to the bottom of it," he said.

Mr Duggan's parents were notified of his death on Sunday.

Only hours after the start of the festival an Australian man was arrested for throwing a beer mug, injuring two other revellers.

The 23-year-old is accused of injuring two teenagers when he hurled a one litre stein into the crowd.

On Saturday Red Cross workers were called upon to treat 790 people for drink-related injuries or excessive alcohol consumption- nearly double last year's figure.


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