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International student presumed drowned after falling into Niagara River

Police warned tourists Monday not to climb a railing at the top of Niagara Falls after a 19-year-old international student fell off the edge and was swept over the falls on the weekend.

Niagara Parks Police and emergency workers combed the area with helicopters and boats, but couldn't find the woman, who is presumed to have drowned.

Search crews instead found male remains in a whirlpool of the lower Niagara River, but police said there is no connection to the missing student.

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The woman, who came from Japan and studied at a Toronto-area school, was visiting the falls with a friend around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.

She climbed over the railing and straddled it to look at the falls. When she stood up, the student apparently lost her footing and fell into the river 24 metres upstream from the brink of the falls. The swift current swept her over.

Scaling the wall is "clearly dangerous and prohibited," but visitors do it every day, said Niagara Parks Police Chief Doug Kane.

Still, the police chief said it's the first time he's heard of a tourist tumbling off the edge in that spot.

"We get about 11 million people a year here who view that annually – this is the first occurrence of this nature that I can recall," said Kane, who has worked in the region for 35 years.

Police said the incident was captured on surveillance video and foul play is not suspected.

Authorities were working with the Japanese consulate Monday to contact the student's family.

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Early Sunday, a 27-year-old man survived an almost 10-metre fall down the Niagara Gorge.

The man, from London, Ont., had to be extricated from the gorge by fire officials and was sent to hospital with a broken leg and head trauma.

Police said he will be charged under the Niagara Parks Act of Ontario.

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