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Alleged plane crash in Massena area turns out to be false alarm

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MASSENA — Several law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies responded to an area ranging from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project to near Cornwall Island on Friday afternoon for what some people initially believed was a plane crash.

State Police Lt. Kevin J. Boyea confirmed the report was a false alarm.

“The only thing we had reports of was a low-flying plane with smoke,” he said. “There was never any report of a plane crash.”

St. Lawrence County Deputy Fire Coordinator Frank W. Burns, Helena, said the initial report was made by children on Cornwall Island who placed an emergency call to Franklin County 911.

“Then it was turned over to us,” Mr. Burns said. “They did the right thing. It ended up being a good drill for us.”

Mr. Burns said the children saw what they eventually determined was a Canadian Armed Forces plane flying at a low level over the Massena-Cornwall Seaway International Bridge before it disappeared out of sight.

The plane reportedly was involved in a treetop exercise.

Among the agencies responding were state police, park police, village police, U.S. Border Patrol, Massena Fire Department and Massena Rescue Squad. Divers from surrounding agencies also were called.

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