New York Plane Crash Kills 50


A Continental Airlines 74-seat turboprop en route to Buffalo, New York crashed five minutes from landing at the airport last night. The jet hit a house and burst into flames. All aboard the plane and one person in the house were killed. Two other people in the house had minor injuries. The only recognizable section of the aircraft is the tail section. This will be important to investigators since the voice and flight data recorders are located there, and are likely intact.

The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 was flying from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo. While authorities are obviously in the early stages of investigating, a mixture of sleet and snow may have been to blame for bringing down the jet. This is based on other planes that landed safely at the airport who said they were experiencing “rime icing” on their wingtips.

Witnesses on the ground have said when the plane flew over them, the engines did not sound normal and that the nose of the craft was lower than it should have been. The plane then hit a house directly. Several houses around the zone of impact were evacuated and authorities have said the area may not be safe enough to investigate until sometime around noon local time today.

One of those reportedly killed aboard the flight was Beverly Eckert, the widow of Sean Rooney, who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11. She was on her way to Buffalo for a celebration of what would have been her husband’s 58th birthday, as well as to take part in the presentation of a scholarship award at Canisius High School Eckert had established in her husband’s honor.

The jet was owned by Colgan Air who operated it for Continental Airlines. The plane crash comes during a time when the crew of a US Airways flight is still being hailed as heroes for crash landing their jet into the Hudson River with no fatalities.