Flight 3407 Took 'Nose Dive' Into Suburban Home

A plane crash in upstate New York killed 49 people Thursday night.

ByABC News
February 13, 2009, 2:02 AM

Feb. 13, 2009 — -- Authorities say 50 people are dead after a Continental Express plane crashed into a suburban Buffalo home Thursday night and erupted in flames just five minutes before it was scheduled to land.

Continental Express #3407, operated by Colgan Air, was flying from Newark, N.J., to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport when it crashed into a single-family home at around 10:20 p.m., killing all of the passengers onboard and one person on the ground.

One woman and a child managed to escape from the burning house, said authorities, and are being treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

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At a press conference early Friday morning, Chris Collins, the Erie County executive, said the plane appears to have "dove directly on top of the house."

"It was a direct hit," said Collins. "It's remarkable that it only took one house. As devastating as that is, it could have wiped out the entire neighborhood."

Collins said the plane had not reported any trouble before the crash and described the weather at the time of the crash as "typical" and "nothing unusual." He added that it was snowing lightly and there was moderate wind in the area.

The plane had been scheduled to arrive in Buffalo at 10:25 p.m., according to authorities, and had departed late from New Jersey.

The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, which has 74 seats, was not full at the time of the crash and had been carrying 44 passengers and four crew members.

The Federal Aviation Administration says there was no emergency call from the plane to air traffic control prior to the crash.

Authorities say it will be several hours before investigators can walk the scene of the crash because of the heat resonating from the debris. Investigators from The National Transportation Safety Board are set to arrive in Buffalo early Friday morning.

In a recorded conversation between air traffic controllers and the plane's female pilot, communication with the flight appeared to be routine as the plane got clearance for landing.