New York, Feb. 15 (ANI): Contradicting eyewitness accounts that the Continental Flight 3407 crashed nose-down into a Clarence home, federal investigators have claimed that there's evidence that the airplane landed flat.
"We found the cockpit, tail section, both wings and the engine. And they're where they should be if an airplane was laying flat. The plane also was pointed away from the airport runway where it was supposed to land," National Transportation Safety Board Member Steven Chealander said.
The aircraft's stall-protection mechanisms had been activated ... devices that warn the pilot of possible in-flight stalls. There are no indications that the crew gave passengers any warning, investigators believe the crash was a sudden catastrophic event, he added.
On Thursday, the plane had crashed into a house in the northeast Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center, 6 miles away from BUF's Runway 23, killing all fifty people on board. he toll included two pilots, two flight attendants, 44 passengers, one off-duty pilot, and one resident of the house, The Buffalo News reports.
County Health Commissioner Dr. Anthony J. Billittier said on Saturday that investigators have identified 15 bodies and other human remains.
It may take three or four more days to remove all bodies from the crash site, Billittier predicted.
Buffalo's FBI office in charge Laurie J. Bennett, said law enforcement would be able to say whether criminal activity or terrorism was involved in the Thursday night crash by next week.
"At this point it does not appear to be anything more than a tragic accident, though more evidence is needed to rule out any type of foul play," she said.
Experts said this kind of sudden crash could have been caused by ice on the wings.
"The suddenness of the [descent] makes you suspicious of icing as the cause. One minute, you have a plane flying smooth and level at 2,300 feet. The next minute, it's on the ground," said Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. (ANI)