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Search for woman swept over Niagara Falls turns up male body

The "Maid of the Mist" ventures at the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls
The "Maid of the Mist" ventures at the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls

By Neale Gulley

BUFFALO, New York (Reuters) - A college student who overstepped a safety railing fell into Niagara Falls over the weekend and searchers looking for her body on Monday found an unidentified male body instead.

The 19-year-old international student from Japan was presumed drowned after she plunged into the fast-flowing waters near the brink of Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the falls at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to Canadian park police.

She had climbed over a railing and straddled it while enjoying the view with a friend, police said.

"The young woman stood up in what appeared to be an attempt to climb back over when she lost her balance and fell," reads a statement from Canadian park police.

No foul play is suspected in the incident, police said.

The woman's identity was withheld pending notification of her family in Japan.

With a helicopter hovering above, an international search party scoured Niagara Falls Gorge for her body. On Monday, she remained missing but searchers instead spotted an unidentified male body at the base of the falls in an area known as the whirlpool, police said.

Authorities were working with the coroner's office to identify the body, which was not thought to be connected to Sunday's accident.

In another unrelated mishap, charges are pending against an Ontario man, 27, who scaled a safety wall and fell 30 feet into the gorge, fracturing his leg.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)