commuter airplane with 49 people aboard crashed late Thursday night into a house
in a small town in western New York State near the city of Buffalo. Authorities
say everyone on-board was killed as well as at least one person on the
The wreckage of Continental Airlines flight 3407 lay smoldering
Friday morning in the small town of Clarence Center; only the aircraft's tail
The plane came down about nine kilometers from
Buffalo Niagara International Airport where it was due to land shortly after
10:00 p.m. Thursday evening.
County Executive Chris Collins told a news
conference that the plane struck a house in the residential community, nearly
destroying it and killing at least one resident.
"We do know that there
were 48 on the plane - 44 passengers and four crew. Unfortunately, there was a
town resident in one home that perished," he said. "Two individuals were able to
escape that home incurring minor injuries."
Collins said first responders
immediately evacuated residents from about a dozen other nearby homes.
Federal, state and local authorities are converging on
the scene to begin their investigation. Officials said it is too early to
determine the cause of the crash.
|President reacts to crash|
and I are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic accident outside of Buffalo last
night. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones. I want
to thank the brave first responders who arrived immediately to try and save
lives and who are continuing to ensure the safety of everyone in the area. We
pray for all those who have been touched by this terrible tragedy to find peace
and comfort in the hard days ahead," said President
The cockpit black box recorder, which often
provides clues to such crashes, has not yet been recovered because the crash
site is still too hot from the fuel fire that erupted.
Initial reports said Flight 3407 radioed the control tower
that they were having problems. But Collins said that did not appear to be the
"To the best of our knowledge it did not [report trouble]," he
said. "It was coming in for a landing and the control tower stated that it lost
contact with the plane."
The twin-engine prop aircraft was enroute from
Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo in a light snow and moderate winds when it
crashed. County officials would not release the names of the passengers, but
said many were from the Buffalo area.
This is the second commercial
plane crash in New York state in less than a month. In January, a US Airways
passenger flight that had just taken off from a New York City airport crashed in
the Hudson River after birds flew into the engines.
captain heroically landed that plane in the river and all the passengers