Tuesday 8 July 2003

Florida Rep. Katherine Harris Dead in Plane Crash

As it turns out this story appears to be a hoax, as usual us Internet peeps were a bit over zealous in proclaiming her demise. I'm gonna leave this story here because it's a good lesson in not trusting the Internet too much!

According to a source who refused to be named in this story, Florida Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R-FL) died this morning in a light plane crash in foggy conditions near Toronto’s island airport around 10:00 AM.

The Toronto Islands are located on Lake Ontario, adjacent to Canada’s mainland.

Reports and sources are as yet unable to confirm why the Florida congresswoman and former Secretary of State during Florida’s 2000 presidential election controversy had flown from Chicago to Toronto; however, the source also said that Governor Jeb Bush was reportedly at the accident scene shortly after the crash.

Our internet search confirmed that there was a crash this morning in the Toronto Islands at about 9:57 AM, and that there is currently a search and recovery effort being conducted, according to a Toronto Globe and Mail report at 4:51 this afternoon. However, we also confirmed that there was activity in Harris’ Washington, DC congressional office at least until midnight tonight -- on the Monday of a long Fourth of July holiday weekend when Congress in not even in session.

The doomed plane was a small, private Beechcraft piloted by an unidentified American, according to Constable Mike Hayles of the Toronto Marine Unit, speaking at a press conference this afternoon. Hayles said the police received a call at 10:06 AM, reporting the crash, but was unable to confirm how many others were on board the plane which holds seven people, including a pilot and six passengers.

Interestingly, the Globe and Mail said Hayles added that “American regulations are different from those in Canada and the United States does not require information on all passengers of a plane.”

According to reports, Canadian Hercules aircraft, two Labrador helicopters, and some 50 police officers and 10 police boats are conducting a water search for the missing plane, while also using an underwater robotic probe that reaches a 16 meter depth.

Full story...