Turboprop Crash Near Buffalo Airport Kills 50

News reports say 50 people died when Continental Connection flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed into a house at 10:20 p.m. local time Thursday about five miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, N.Y., The flight was en route from Newark Liberty International Airport. A person in the house also died, and two people in the home were treated for injuries and released, according to this morning's press coverage. Bombardier, the Canadian manufacturer of the aircraft, says its Q400 line is considered the "21st century turboprop" and is "the quietest, most vibration-free turboprop in the sky."

Both of the plane's "black boxes," which record a wealth of data from the plane's instruments, have been recovered. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, Inc., which is owned by Pinnacle Airlines Corp. of Memphis, Tenn. Light snow was falling in the area when the plane crashed, igniting and destroying the home.

"Continental extends its deepest sympathy to the family members and loved ones of those involved in this accident," Larry Kellner, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines, said in a statement posted by the airline. "We are providing our full assistance to Colgan Air so that together we can provide as much support as possible for all concerned. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family members and loved ones of those involved in the flight 3407 tragedy."

NTSB said Senior Air Safety Investigator Lorenda Ward is Investigator-in-Charge of the agency's on-site team of about 12 investigators.

NTSB Board Member Steven Chealander will be principal spokesman for the on-scene investigation when the agency begins news conferences about the investigation today. The Federal Aviation Administration, Colgan Air, and the Air Line Pilots Association will be parties to the investigation. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has appointed an Accredited Representative who will arrive on scene today along with technical advisors from that agency, Bombardier Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

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