Missing Student in Niagara Falls Incident Identified


A photo of Ayano Tokumasu from her Facebook page.


TORONTO — A Japanese student who is missing and presumed dead after falling over a safety railing at Niagara Falls on Sunday has been identified as 20-year-old Ayano Tokumasu, the Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun report.

Tokumasu, who came from Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, and had attended Aichi University, was attending Hansa Language Centre in Toronto. Canadian media published a photo from her Facebook page on Tuesday.

She and another female student were on the Canadian side of the falls when the accident occurred. Police said surveillance footage shows Tokumasu holding an umbrella, straddling a safety railing and looking at the falls. It appeared as if she was having her picture taken. But when she got up to climb back over the railing, she lost her balance and slipped into the rushing waters.

Police and fire departments on both sides of the border spent Sunday evening and Monday morning searching. Later Monday, police said they were scaling back their search.

The mood was somber at the school as classmates and teachers remembered Tokumasu as a young woman who had a bubbly personality and spoke English quite well.

Elizabeth Greve, director of Hansa’s Yonge Street campus, said Tokumasu was registered in two classes and that her month-long course would have ended next week.

“It’s a shock for everybody here,” Greve told the Star.

UPDATE: Kyodo News reports that Tokumasu’s body was found on the U.S. side of the falls Aug. 18 and identified through dental records Aug. 19, according to the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto. Kyodo also confirmed that she was 20, not 19 as reported by some newspapers.


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