BUFFALO, NY - There are no survivors from a plane crash late Thursday night near Buffalo, New York. Air traffic control suddenly lost contact with Continental flight 3407 on approach to the Buffalo airport.
The flight originated in Newark, New Jersey and pilots on board gave no warning of any trouble. Out of the flames the plane's tail...points toward the sky. It's the only visible part of the wreckage of Continental flight 3407.
Eyewitness photos show the devastating scene moments after the crash. "There's a tail section and then there's nothing but twisted metal," said eyewitness Stephen Wallace. Authorities say it appears the twin turbo prop nose-dived into a suburban Buffalo home and exploded on impact.
"Dove into the house it landed on the house it was a direct hit. It is remarkable that it only took out one house it could have easily taken out the whole neighborhood," said David Bissonette, Emergency Coordinator for Clarence Center, New York.
All on board died and investigators say a man inside the home was killed. A mother and daughter also inside the house, escaped. Witnesses say the plane, loaded with 5,800 pounds of fuel came out of nowhere and jolted the neighborhood.
"The explosion shook our house and you could hear the flames crackling when you got outside," said one witness. "Flames were 20-30 feet high".
The Continental flight, operated by Colgan Air crashed five miles from Buffalo-Niagra Airport on a night when snow fog, wind and upper level ice concerns caused delays. Air traffic control audio recordings detail the moments just before the plane lost all contact. But the pilots are calm and do not issue a distress call. NTSB investigators were on site within hours of the crash, but they had to wait out the flames.
Meanwhile, victim's relatives gathered at a nearby senior center a private place to grieve. One of the victims on board was Beverly Eckert. She is a 9/11 widow who pushed for the 9/11 Commission. Family members say she was on her way to her late husband Sean's hometown to mark what would have been his 58th birthday.
Back at the crash site investigators have already located the black boxes. There a start to a long a meticulous investigation into what caused the tragic crash Officials have not released the names of all the victims, but say many of the them lived in the Buffalo area. The community now forced to cope with the nation's deadliest commercial plane crash in more than two years.