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  May 27, 1999



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Cause of Owen's plunge a mystery


By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun
  What caused Owen Hart's fatal wrestling ring plunge may never be determined, a Kansas City police spokesman said yesterday.
 The investigation into the Calgary wrestler's death Sunday night following a nine-storey fall from the upper reaches of Kansas City's Kemper Arena is continuing, said Sgt. Floyd Mitchell.
 "We don't know if Mr. Hart triggered (his harness' release), if it was a mechanical problem, or if his costume was a factor, or how much force was needed to activate a quick release," said Mitchell.
 "It's something we may never know."
 Hart was executing a spectacular flying entry into a World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event when his cable tether became detached from its harness, sending the grappler head-first into a padded steel turnbuckle.
 Mitchell said police have ruled out foul play in the accident.
 The grieving Hart family said they still hope to discover the cause of the accident, but father Stu admitted it may never be determined.
 "I think that's true -- they may never know -- it's all supposition," said the wrestling industry legend.
 Owen's sister, Ellie, said the family has been kept in the dark by the Kansas City police, adding the force has yet to contact them.
 She said the harness used by her brother doesn't appear to have been as safe as the one employed by Grant Kelba's Harvey the Hound mascot character, which apparently doesn't release in mid-air.
 "To not have a backup (safety device) is negligent in its own right," said Ellie.
 Meanwhile, it's been decided that the six remaining Hart brothers -- Keith, Ross, Wayne, Bruce, Smith and Bret (Hitman) Hart will be pallbearers at their brother's funeral on Monday.
 "Literally millions of people would be honoured to be a pallbearer for Owen," said Smith, 50.

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