AC360° Senior Producer
We are waking up to news of a tragic plane crash this morning. Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed into a house and burst into a ball of flames in Clarence Center, NY at 10:20pmET last night. Victims include 49 passengers and crew members, and an elderly man inside the house that was hit.
The flight left from Newark, NJ and was 7 miles away from Buffalo Niagara International Airport, its ultimate destination, before the crash. A local resident said it felt like a “mini earthquake” when the plane went down.
It appears this tragedy happened quickly, given that there were no signs of distress in communications between air traffic control and the flight crew when the plane was cleared for approach. Radar contact was lost abruptly. The NTSB is preparing a “go team” to head to the area and investigate this tragic incident.
Amongst the victims was also a 9/11 widow named Beverly Eckert. She lost her husband in the World Trade Center attacks, and she was traveling to Buffalo to take part in the presentation of a “scholarship award’ established in her late husband’s honor. Her family members told local news “We know that she was on the plane, and now she’s with him.” There will be no shortage of very sad stories to come out of this today, unfortunately.
President Obama released this statement: "Michelle and I are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic accident outside of Buffalo last night. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones. I want to thank the brave first responders who arrived immediately to try and save lives and who are continuing to ensure the safety of everyone in the area. We pray for all those who have been touched by this terrible tragedy to find peace and comfort in the hard days ahead."
Anderson and our team were up all night covering this story. I got an email from our Executive Producer at 4amet telling me they were only then heading home. Needless to say, it was a rough night all around covering a story like this last night, but Anderson and crew will be back this evening to update you on the above, and the other important stories unfolding today.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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