13 Feb 2009

49 dead after plane ploughs into New York house

10:14 pm on 13 February 2009

Forty-nine people have died after a passenger plane crashed into a house in Buffalo in New York state on Thursday.

Police said all 44 passengers and four crew on board the flight from Newark to Buffalo were killed.

A county emergency official says one person who was inside the house also died.

The twin-prop Continental Connection Flight 3407 came down 16km from Buffalo airport at 10.10pm. It is not clear what caused the crash.

Television footage showed the wreckage of the plane and a house engulfed in flames.

State police spokeswoman Rebecca Gibbons said that of the 48 people on the plane, "there were no survivors."

Dave Bissonet, the emergency control director in Clarence, the suburb of Buffalo where the plane crashed, said one person on the ground had been killed.

Two people not on the plane were taken to hospital with minor injuries, CNN reported.

The flight, operated by Colgan Air, had reportedly been delayed on departure, and was approaching the airport in Buffalo two hours later than scheduled.

Twelve houses near the crash site were evacuated, because of concerns about the fuel left on the crashed Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

US media say a recording of Buffalo's air traffic control before the crash showed no concerns by either the controller or the pilot.

However, a minute later, the controller was unable to contact Flight 3407 and asks other planes in the area if they can spot it.

There was reported to be light snow and fog at the time.