Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan - email
BUFFALO, NY (WWBT) - Officials say at least 50 people are dead after a commuter plane crashed in suburban Buffalo minutes before it was supposed to land.
Continental flight #3407 went down just 10 miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport late Thursday night and burst into flames.
The plane crashed into one house, killing one person on the ground and all 49 onboard.
The Bombardier Dash 8 plane was a Continental express flight operated by Colgan Air. It was on its way from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo when it went down in the suburb of Clarence Center, New York.
Witnesses said they could hear the plane flying loudly and much lower than normal before it slammed into the quiet suburban neighborhood.
"All of a sudden I heard a big popping noise and I looked out my window," said witness Sean Wolf. "The whole sky illuminated with orange flames."
Witnesses described a scene of chaos.
"I could see a mother and daughter were screaming, they didn't know where their husband was," said Wolf.
Officials say there was light snow in the area and very little communication to the tower from the plane's crew before the crash.
A team from the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to begin an investigation Friday morning.