New Zealander found dead after drinking binge

23rd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 September 2005, MUNICH - A 23-year-old New Zealand tourist has been found dead on a steep hillside near Munich, a week after he and other visitors reportedly went binge-drinking to 'get fit' for Oktoberfest, German police said Friday.

23 September 2005

MUNICH - A 23-year-old New Zealand tourist has been found dead on a steep hillside near Munich, a week after he and other visitors reportedly went binge-drinking to 'get fit' for Oktoberfest, German police said Friday.

The man was last seen in the public bar at Andechs Monastery, 35 kilometres southwest of Munich, on September 15.

Thousands of New Zealanders gather at Oktoberfest, the beer festival, every year, and pay a mass visit to Andechs on the Thursday before Oktoberfest begins so that they can 'train' to drink more.

Large numbers of police combed the countryside near Andechs Thursday after a smaller-scale search and all other leads in the missing-persons inquiry had fizzled out, and found the body of a male sprawled about 30 metres below a hillside road.

Police said they could only conclusively identify the body by an autopsy, but it appeared to be that of the missing man, an unmarried social worker from the New Zealand country district of Waitahuna, near Lawrence in the South Island.

Detectives said he may have been the victim of an accident, possibly losing his bearings and tumbling down the slope while drunk.

Fellow tourists admitted they had been too drunk to remember if he was with them when they boarded public transport back to Munich after their Andechs visit last week. His worried family in New Zealand had not heard from him since then.

Oktoberfest, the world's biggest beer party, is held in tents near downtown Munich and runs this year from September 17 to October 3. It is expected to attract 6 million Germans and foreign tourists.

DPA

Subject: German news

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