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Death toll in Buffalo plane crash now at 50 people

By By ANDREW DONOVAN

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WKTV) - A commuter plane crashed into a suburban home and erupted into flames late Thursday night in Clarence, killing all 49 people on board and one town resident on the ground. Two other people were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.

Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed at around 10:20 p.m. and was headed to Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and had departed from Newark, New Jersey. The plane was traveling in light snow, fog and 17 mph winds.

At the 4:00 a.m. press conference, it was said that a two-block area was still secured in the Village of Clarence Center by the New York State Police. The scene is still being described as very hot and an investigation will begin after it cools down. The NTSB will be on the scene to conduct that investigation.

Multiple agencies are assisting in these efforts including the Town of Clarence, Erie County, New York State Police, Sheriffs and the FBI. The public is being asked to stay away from the scene as the fire is extinguished and the investigation begins.

The 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft was operated by Colgan Air. Investigators from Colgan Air and the FAA are en route to the scene and New York State Police has secured the area.

Family members who were awaiting their relatives at the airport were taken to a local senior center. Counselors, chaplains and airlines representatives were available there to assist. Erie County Executive Chris Collins said, "our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected."

If anyone suspects they had family members on board, they are urged to call the airline at 1-800-621-3263.

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