Recovering Bodies from Plane Wreckage

February 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Search crews have removed the remains of 15 of the 49 people onboard a continental connection plane that crashed Thursday night near Buffalo, New York.Investigators now said the plane did not nose dive into the ground but landed flat. Investigators said it was pointed away from the airport where it was supposed to land.

Investigators have begun the grim process of removing bodies from the wreckage of Continental flight 3407, a process complicated by the still smoldering site.

Dr. Anthony Billitier, Erie County Health Commissioner said, "We've recovered 15 bodies and they're on their way to the medical examiner's office."

Crews found the black box recorders Friday, uncovering crucial clues to what may have caused the crash. Steve Chealander an NTSB board member said, "The crew was experiencing icing on the windshield and leading edge of the wings."

NTSB officials said the plane began to pitch and roll violently, from which it never recovered.

John Nance a former commercial airline pilot said, "If you slow an airplane that has ice on a wing it's not going to be a slow and sudden wallowing. Within a few seconds you're on the ground."

Timothy Norris, Assistant Fire Chief for Clarence Center Fire Company said, "It was very hot, very intense, a lot of fuel burning."

All 49 people on board the plane perished along with one man inside the home. His wife and daughter escaped.

Karen Wielinski a survivor said, "I didn't think I was going to get out of there...I thought this was it."

The tragedy has barely begun to sink in for the victims' families. Rebecca Shaw, the co-pilot, was a recent graduate and newlywed.

Lynn Morris, Rebecca Sawyer's mother said, "She just tried everything and she enjoyed it, she just enjoyed life to the fullest."

Other passengers included a 9-11 widow, a human rights activist and a hockey player en route to reunite with her teammates. All lives cut short in seconds just six miles from the runway.

While investigators said they are still weeks away from determining what caused the crash; the NTSB said this tragedy serves to highlight the need for improved de-icing procedures.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments