Families tour site of plane crash near Buffalo - | WBTV Charlotte

Families tour site of plane crash near Buffalo

An eyewitness captured this video of the crash of Continental Flight 3407. An eyewitness captured this video of the crash of Continental Flight 3407.
Fifty people are dead after a commuter plane crashed into this home near Buffalo late Thursday night. Fifty people are dead after a commuter plane crashed into this home near Buffalo late Thursday night.
A man who lives less than a mile from where the plane hit the house says the "whole sky was lit up orange." A man who lives less than a mile from where the plane hit the house says the "whole sky was lit up orange."
Beverly Eckert, one of the victims of the Continental Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, was a Sept. 11 widow and activist. Beverly Eckert, one of the victims of the Continental Flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, was a Sept. 11 widow and activist.

CLARENCE, N.Y. (AP) - Families of those killed when a plane crashed in western New York have toured the site of the catastrophic accident for the first time.

The plane landed on a home in Clarence late Thursday night after pitching and rolling wildly for about 20 seconds. Forty-nine people aboard the aircraft and one person on the ground were killed in the crash that occurred minutes before the plane was to land at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The families have been sequestered in a hotel. Today, they boarded several buses at the hotel and drove to the crash site with police escort.

Investigators says it appears Flight 3407 had been fairly routine until the final 26 seconds before it plunged into a house about six miles from Buffalo's airport.

Ice has emerged as a possible factor, but the lack of a distress call from the pilot has raised the possibility of a mechanical failure.

* * *

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - An investigator says a crane will lift the engines from the site of last week's deadly plane crash outside Buffalo, New York.

Steve Chealander of the National Transportation Safety Board says the engines will be taken from the debris field on Monday. Investigators want to scrutinize all the pieces to learn whether the plane was intact when it hit the ground.

Chealander says it remains a mystery what caused a seemingly routine descent by Continental Connection Flight 3407 to abruptly go wrong 26 seconds before the crash.

All 49 people on board and one man on the ground were killed when the plane landed on a house Thursday night about six miles from Buffalo's airport.

Chealander also says families of the victims were hoping to visit the crash site on Monday.

* * *

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - As crews continue the process of removing the remains of plane crash victims from a home near Buffalo, N.Y., investigators are finding out more about the final minutes of Flight 3407.

The voice and data recorders have already revealed that the plane was on autopilot, even after the crew noticed ice building up on the wings and windshield.

Yesterday, people gathered at Clarence United Methodist Church Sunday to pray for the victims, their families and the army of workers sifting through the plane wreckage.

At Emmanuel Baptist Church, the Rev. Terry Bowman led prayers for the victims and their families. He says the town is "in shock but coming together in prayer."

Fifty people died Thursday night when the Continental Connection turboprop fell from the sky onto a house.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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