Friday, February 13, 2009

US plane crash leaves 49 dead

Forty nine people have died after a commuter plane crashed into a house in New York state in the United States. Continental flight 3407 was heading to Buffalo from Newark when it came down around 8 km [5 miles] north east of the airport. All 44 passengers and 4 crew have died and one person on the ground was also killed after their house was struck. There was low visibility and snow at the time of the crash which occurred at around 10:20 pm local time. Witnesses say they saw the plane coming down vertically and others say they saw a massive fireball. The intensity of the fire was mostly due to the large amount of fuel on board, estimated at 2,500 Kg. One resident described the impact as like “a mini earthquake”. All contact was lost with the flight shortly before the crash and one NTSB insider described the crash as a mystery. The Bombardier dash 8 Q400 has a relatively good safety record though there have been issues with fuel lines and landing gear in the past. The crash is the first fatal commuter plane crash since August 2006 [CNN / Fox News / ABC / CBS / BBC / Sky News].

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