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February 13th, 2009
11:35 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Tragic Plane Crash

Penny Manis
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.


Filed under: Clarence Plane Crash • Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Sheryl L

    Anderson and the crew did an awesome job covering the plane tragedy last night. Thank you for the amazing job on covering it as it broke out. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families! This plane crash story hit home! I have family that live near Buffalo New York.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Anderson and team did an amazing job of covering this story as it broke. I know it was a long night for them. I appreciate their efforts to bring us the news and their continued effort to bring new developments to us as they happened. Thank you.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  3. David

    Accident cause probally tail plane stall. If Ice build on the wings it also build on the tail. The horizontal stabilizer or "tail" in normal flight conditons produces a downward force on the rear of the airplane. When Ice is allowed to accumalte it changes the aerodynamic characteristics of the airfoil. A tail plane stall occurs when the air flow over the tail is unable to flow smoothly over the surface. This conditon is further enhanced with incresing the flap settings. The result is a rapid nose down pitch which is unrecoverable at low altitudes. NASA intentionally induced tail plane stall in a flight test. The video shows how quick it happens and how hard it is to recover even if you know exactly when it happens.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  4. Michael A. Burris

    To The Comment Concering Illegal Immigration:

    A new study that was featured in the media this week is citing that many would-be job seekers in Mexico and Central America are having second-thoughts about coming to America because the economy is so bad. So, with this downturn, there is an upside: it is stemming the tide of illegal immigration.

    February 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  5. John

    Believe it or not, I always think about this kind of thing happening where I live since planes sometimes go over as they land at the Philadelphia International Airport. So sad about all those people.

    February 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  6. Sheryl

    You did a fantastic job covering the crash. Keep up the good work!

    February 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  7. ben

    time to investigate tail plane stalls and super cooled drizzle drops. faa did a study a few years back with a dhc-6 twin otter. enlightening

    February 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  8. Dan C

    The loss of 50 lives in this plane crash is tragic .... but TODAY, an average of 109 lives will be lost in the US in traffic accidents ! Shouldn't we be more outraged over that ? In the next 30 days, more lives will be lost in cars than in 9/11.

    More $ should be spent on automobile safety technology. I'm an engineer – I know we can do better.

    February 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  9. John P. Tarver, MS/PE

    Roselawn was an uncommanded roll due to a power supply problem (tank capacitors) in the autopilot gyro system. The Dash 8 has been a very reliable cold weather aircraft (STOL) and is not similar to the long thin wing Saab 340B.

    February 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  10. Larry

    Apparently it was caused by George Bush.

    February 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  11. Bev C Town of Tonawanda, NY

    I live in a suburb of Buffalo not far from where the plane crashed in Clarence Center. We are all stunned here. To the victims' families, nationally and locally, I extend my deepest sympathies to you all. God Bless the victims and their families.

    February 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Eric H

    My family lost my brother on Comair 5191. It's a very surreal day listening to all the newscasts. I can totally identify with what the families are going through. I am praying for them.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Diane O

    Does Mayor Blumberg think these people weren't worthy of "Gods help"? That was a pretty nasty comment he made.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  14. sean brizendine

    anderson this is an unfortunate tragedy but i must point out that being the first fatal plane crash in the united states in 2 years it proves its still the safest way to travel, my prayers to everyone affected by this tragedy.
    "sean in santa rosa"

    February 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  15. May from Tennessee

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the plane crash and their families...such a terrible tragedy. Thankyou Anderson and CNN for bringning us the news...you all must be very tired and I know it must have been very difficult for you to be present at such a horriffic scene in order to bring us coverage. Please try to get some rest.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  16. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Penny,
    Such a sad and tragic end last night. You are all so wonderful to work all night long and bring us live coverage.
    I feel so sad I hardly know what to say. Shocking.
    II am sending my thoughts and prayers to the families, emergency workers, and all of you at CNN.
    Thank you and God bless~
    XO's
    BettyAnn

    February 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  17. Keri

    Anderson and 360 staff: thank you for your reporting on this plane crash. We have a lot to be thankful for.

    BTW, kudos to Randi Kaye this week, she has done an excellent job with Anderson, as always. She rocks.

    February 13, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  18. American

    How is possible that in this time of incredible struggle for survivor and keeping above water
    There are companies trying to profit from the pain of others and use the struggle and uncertainly of tomorrow to increase their profit. I have being an employee for about 7 years with BB&T Banking I saw their numbers gaining this year, impressive!!! . After all, all other banks around us collapsed.
    The crime is that they are using the situation to place fear in the company and take away bonus and benefits from employees. The CEO from BB&T sends an e-mail stating your pay raise this year is that you still have a job. They also keep workers scare by telling then that there are hundres of applicants waiting for their job.

    Government / Someone have to do something about the abuse of power that we all believed was something from the pass Bush administration
    Keep them honest AC

    February 13, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  19. Don Rettmann

    It appears this crash was caused by ice accumulating on the airplane. It is very similar to the 1994 crash in Indiana of another twin turboprop commuter airliner.

    When I was young, I wanted to be an airline pilot. However, after obtaining my private pilot license in 1966 at the age of eighteen, I decided not to pursue my commercial and instrument licenses, because I did not think all-weather flying was safe.

    All-weather flying is not just dangerous...it is insane.

    Flying in icing conditions should not be permitted. Never.

    February 13, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  20. Jose Dejesu

    We have a serious problem that is going to prevent the economy from recovering what is the problem ? everyone is afraid to talk about ? Cafferty and Loud Dobbs just talked aboutit this week..

    With unemployment going to 10% by the end of the year, how come no one is talking about the urging need to freeze all legal immigration now ?? No one wants to talk about that why ? are we that afraid of Hispanics ?? America is legally allowing over 3 million new people in our country every year, if you count all the H-1 visa workers. Do we need 3 million new people this year ? or next year ? hell no.. Immigration is a serious threat to our country but everybody is afraid to talk about it , afraid of being call a racists . So what ? stand up for America the hell with Hispanics what complaint, I'm a Hispanic guy. We need to freeze all immigration now. We can't continue to allow more people in. We are in a economic emergency.. Stop all immigration now, American people should be first. Stand up for them by speaking up.
    No Jobs–unemployment going to 10% , do we need more people ? no,no,no,...If you people in the news love your country like i do ? please i urge you to talk about . We got to freeze all immigration for 5 to 10 years. If everybody contunues to be afraid of Hispanics i predict a civil war .. The American people are being forced to take more and more people by politicians who are more concern about getting the Hispanic votes and getting elected.. Anyone out there care about America ? I know loud Dobbs does the only one.

    Former Marine..

    February 13, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  21. Michelle Fonthill,Ont

    The plane that crashed into the house was terrible .i saw one man whose sister was abaord th at plane it was deveasting tos see this happening .The poor famailies who had to go to a greif counselling place after they were notified my prayers and thoughts are with the families . Thanks to Cnn and Anderson for covering this so fast for staying up all night .Anderson get some rest now . 4am wow that was a long night not much sleep .It's so hard to tell tyhe stories .

    Thanks for your compassionate story telling !Anderson
    See you later Michelle D.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  22. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Just watching the video makes me verry sad. How it happened?whats happened?a lot of questions.all i can do is feeling verry sorry for the people there and their families.
    I whant to thank Anderson and the CNN team for react so fast,not always a easy job,telling facts and truth when jou have to look in the face of death.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  23. EJ (USA)

    Anderson and our team were up all night covering this story.

    I saw that. You all must be so tired & drained. I hope you are able to get some sleep. Thanks for trying your best to bring everyone the information.

    Just after I watched the 2nd half of 360 – I saw CNN International break in with the news. Very sad.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:29 am |