Thursday, August 18, 2011

Japanese Woman Plunges To Death At Niagara Falls

Spring time aerial view of Horseshoe Falls - photo by Andrew Joseph

Well... here's a bit of disturbing news.

On Sunday, August 14, 2011, Tokumasu Ayano (surname first), 19, a  female student visiting from Japan, was swept over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls (along with the American Falls, it's known as Niagara Falls).

She had been straddling the metal banister at the edge of the top of the falls posing for a photograph when she apparently lost her balance and fell backwards into the water and then quickly over the falls.

Officials with the New York State police have said on Thursday, August 18, 2011 that a female body was recovered on the U.S. side of the waters not fare from where Tokumasu-san had fallen. At this time, police have not officially identified the body.

Close up view of the edge of the Horsehoe Falls - photo by Andrew Joseph.  

Says Doug Kane, chief of the Niagara Parks Police: "A female body has been found, and we are working with the New York State Parks Police to try and identify her."

On Monday, August 15, 2011 while Niagara Parks Police searched for the body of Tokumasu-san along the lower river, they found another body floating in the water. On Thursday, Niagara Regional Police identified that body as a 41-year-old Hamilton, Ontario, Canada resident who had gone missing. His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Foul play is not suspected in either death. 

As an addendum, the Japanese woman's family has shunned the media, requesting privacy. No problem. I can only add that I have been unable to determine where in Japan Tokumasu-san is from originally. That information has not been released.  

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

In the two photos above, it is late April and the snow and ice is flowing in chunks down the river. As an aside, there was no snow in Toronto after the middle of March... If you click on each photo it will enlarge for you. Depending on your browser, it may allow you to further zoom in.   

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