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    Continental plane crashes into home in Clarence Center, New York; 50 killed

    A Continental Airlines plane crashed into a home near Buffalo, New York, late Thursday, killing all 49 passengers and crew members and a person in the home, authorities said.
    Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, late Thursday.

    Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, late Thursday.
    Four people were injured at the crash site, including a mother and daughter inside the house that was hit. They suffered minor injuries and were treated at a hospital and released, according to a spokeswoman at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Williamsville. Two firefighters also were brought in for treatment of smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

    "This is easily the saddest day in the history of our airline," said Philip Trenary, CEO of Colgan Air, which operated the flight for Continental.

    Continental Connection Flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 74-seat turboprop, was en route from Newark, New Jersey, to Buffalo when it went down at around 10:20 p.m. ET, about seven miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

    Dave Bissonette, Clarence Center's natural disaster services coordinator, said it was "clearly a direct hit" on the house. Video See what's left of the plane »

    The ferocity of the fire was such that officials don't expect the crash site to be safe for investigators until about noon Friday, nearly 14 hours after the crash. iReport.com: Flames rise from crash site

    CNN has listened to a tape of communications between air traffic control and the flight crew. The first officer had no sign of stress in her voice. The plane was cleared for approach. About two minutes later, the air traffic controller came back, his voice stressful. Radar contact was lost.

    The question goes out: Can other planes see anything? No one responds. The controller says they might have a plane down. The pilot's last comment was "Colgan Flight 3407." There were no sounds of distress.

    It was not clear whether the mix of sleet and snow in the area played any role in the crash of Flight 3407. Other planes continued to arrive and land safely at Buffalo about the time the flight went down. Delta Flight 1998, an MD-88 jet, landed at approximately 10:17 p.m. The Delta crew did not see Flight 3407.

    The Delta flight reported rime icing, a condition in which ice quickly builds up on the leading edge of the wings. A US Airways flight also reported icing.

    Authorities said the plane went down near a local fire hall, so firefighters were quick to respond to the crash site. At least nine volunteer fire departments responded to the scene. iReport.com: Are you there? Let us know

    Resident Keith Burtis said he was driving to the store about a mile from the crash site when he heard the plane go down.

    "It was a high-pitched sound," Burtis said. "It felt like a mini-earthquake."

    Shortly after the crash, Burtis said he saw a steady stream of fire trucks rush by him as smoke billowed into the sky. Other witnesses told CNN they saw the plane nose-dive toward the ground.

    Twelve residents were evacuated from the area of the plane crash. Law enforcement officials are asking people not to go to the crash site in fear they may hinder the investigation.

    "I felt the impact ... sounded like a large explosion," said Brendan Biddlecom, who told CNN he lives two blocks from where the plane crashed. Video Watch report from witness: "All I saw was flames" »

    Biddlecom ran out his home and to within a couple hundred yards of the crash. The smoke was thick and acrid, and the heat was intense, he said.

    Chris Kausner, who had a sister on the flight, rushed to the Clarence Municipal Center, where he waited for additional information after emergency teams turned him back from the scene.

    "My parents are on vacation in Florida and I had to call down there and tell my father what was going on," he told CNN affiliate WIVB-TV.

    When asked how his parents were handling the news, a shaken Kausner responded "To tell you the truth, I heard my mother make a sound that I have never heard before."

    The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office established a command post at the scene and had investigators there, a statement from the office said. Officials said relatives of passengers aboard the flight should call 800-621-3263 for information. Watch what iReporter captured on film

    A team from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Buffalo on Friday morning to investigate the crash.

    According to the National Weather Service weather observation for Buffalo, there was light snow, fog and mist shortly before 10 p.m. Flight 3407 was originally scheduled to depart at 7:45 p.m., but it was delayed. Video Watch more on the plane crash »

    Thursday's incident is the first fatal crash of a commercial airliner in the United States since August 2006 when Comair Flight 5191 crashed when it attempted to take off from the wrong runway.

    Plane crashes into suburban Buffalo home; 50 killed - CNN.com

  2. #2
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    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


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    One of the passengers was the widow of a 9/11 victim going home to celebrate her late husband's birthday. May all souls on board rest in peace .
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

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