10-year-old boy survives fall over railing at Niagara Falls

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A cloud of mist rises over Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the Niagara Falls on June 4, 2013 at Niagara Falls, New York. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

A family's dream vacation at Niagara Falls turned into a nightmare when their 10-year-old son toppled off a railing and fell into a gorge.

Police say the boy was on the Canadian side of the falls when his family decided to take a picture of Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three falls composing Niagara Falls.

He was sitting on the railing having his picture taken by his mother when he apparently lost his balance, fell over the railing, and plunged 100 feet, injuring his head, the BBC reports.

Police were called to the scene around 4:30 Sunday afternoon, the Buffalo News reports. Members of the Niagara Falls Fire Department, Niagara Parks Police High Angle River Team, and Niagara Emergency Medical Service were able to stabilize the boy so he could be taken by helicopter to McMaster Children's hospital in nearby Hamilton, Ontario.

The boy's injuries were originally considered life-threatening, but the hospital later changed his condition to serious but stable. The fall is still under investigation.

The BBC reports about a dozen people have gone over the falls since 2011, usually intentionally, inside a barrel or another kind of protective device.

Most recently, Kirk Jones died after he went over the falls in an inflatable ball in June. He survived a similar stunt in 2003, becoming the first person known to survive the plunge without a safety device. In his June plunge, it's believed he took a boa constrictor with him in the ball.

At least two other men have survived unprotected plunges since Jones did it.