Search continues for BX girl who fell into Niagara River

NIAGARA FALLS - A search continues for a 12-year-old Bronx girl who was swept away in the Niagara River while hiking with a church group Wednesday.State parks police say an overnight search turned up no sign of the girl, who fell into the water at around 1 p.m. in Whirlpool State Park.Authorities haven't released the girl's name. They say she was with a group of youths and adult chaperones from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.Members of the New York City Polish Catholic Church the girl was traveling with say the accident occurred while they were walking along the lower Niagara gorge. The girl strayed from the group to dip her feet in the water, when she slipped on a mossy rock and got pulled in by the rapids.Police say her friends tried to rescue her, but the swift current swept her into the middle of the river, a few miles north of the famous cataracts. "I'm sure they were all upset and doing their best," says Lt. Patrick Moriarty of the New York State Park Police, "[But] there was no chance for these kids to reach out and try to grab her."On Thursday, state police, border patrol, the Coast Guard and a local tourist boat continued scouring the Niagara River in search of the missing teen. Authorities say, however, that the strong whirlpools in the rapids make it unlikely that she would be able to stay afloat for long.

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