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Woman falls over Niagara Falls

August 15, 2011 | 10:01 am

Falls

Police around Niagara Falls were searching for the body of a young woman presumed dead Monday after she fell into the water above the famous waterfall and vanished. She was swept over Horseshoe Falls, which straddles the U.S.-Canadian border and is the widest and most spectacular of the three cataracts that comprise Niagara Falls.

Police on the Canadian side of the falls, where the accident apparently occurred, said the unidentified woman was enjoying the view from an area known as Table Rock about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. She climbed onto the railing near the water's edge, lost her balance, and fell into the fast-moving water about 60 feet upstream from the falls, according to the Montreal Gazette newspaper.

Another woman with her was not injured. News reports identified the pair as students in their 20s and said the incident was captured on surveillance video and that no foul play was suspected.

The accident comes as high-wire artist Nik Wallenda, of the famous Flying Wallenda family, steps up efforts to lobby officials in Canada and in Niagara Falls, N.Y., to back his plan to take his act across Horseshoe Falls. Local officials on the New York side of the falls have endorsed the idea, which they say could bring a much-needed economic boost to their struggling Rust Belt city. Canadian officials have yet to be convinced. Read more about his plan in this Los Angeles Times story.

Wallenda was in Canada earlier this month in an effort to win over officials there. New York's state legislature approved of the idea in June, and if Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, it will be all systems go unless Canada blocks the plan.

Niagara Falls, and particularly Horseshoe Falls, has long been a draw for daredevils hoping for fame and fortune by conquering the roiling water, but stunts have been banned at the falls for decades.

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--Tina Susman in New York

Photo: The New York side of Niagara Falls. Police on Monday were searching for the body of a woman swept over on the Canadian side. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times.

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