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Continental Commuter Plane Crashes Killing Fifty

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, February 13, 2009 3:58 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Continental Airlines, Airplane Crash, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, Airlines, Plane Crashes, Airline Industry, FAA


IMAGE SOURCE: © Colgan Air Web site

A Continental commuter plane nose-dived into a home near Buffalo, N.Y. last night sparking a fiery explosion that killed 49 onboard and a person inside the home.

The crash happened so suddenly that the pilot didn't even have time to broadcast a Mayday alert.

According to the Associated Press, the Continental Connection Flight 3407, from Newark, N.J. was coming in for a landing when it crashed Thursday night just five miles short of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Witnesses say the aircraft came down in such a steep fall that it demolished the home, but spared other homes in the crowded neighborhood.

There were 44 passengers and four crew members onboard, including an off-duty Colgan Air crew member, which brings the total number to 49. And one person on the ground inside the home.

The relatively new aircraft was registered last April and had a clean safety record, said officials Friday, leaving investigators with few clues as to why the aircraft suddenly plunged just minutes before its planned landing.

The flight was operated by Colgan Air Inc., based in Manassas, Va., which is owned by Pinnacle Airlines Corp.

Before departing Newark, the 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft was delayed two hours, but at this time officials are uncertain why.

Philip H. Trenary, President & CEO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., released the following statement:

“We are greatly saddened by this accident. Our prayers are extended to the family and loved ones of those aboard flight 3407 and those affected on the ground. Please know that we will commit all needed resources to assist the NTSB's investigation of this accident and work to ensure that a tragedy such as this does not occur again."

A toll-free number has been established for families and friends of those on flight 3407. That number is 800-621-3263. Only family members and friends should call this number.

Updates will be posted on ColganAir.com. #

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