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Recovering all the bodies from Thursday's deadly passenger plane crash may take four days as investigators work through freezing temperatures and piles of wreckage, a federal transportation official said Saturday.

"The medical examiner believes that three to four days are going to be required to recover the victims of this crash, and they're in the process of doing that," Steve Chealander of the National Transportation Safety Board said. "They've already pulled some of the folks out of there, but they've got a long way to go."

All 49 passengers aboard Continental Connection Flight 3407 died when the 74-seat Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop crashed into a home in Clarence Center, New York, on Thursday night. A 61-year-old man in the house died also, but his wife and daughter survived.

Fifteen bodies have been recovered, and efforts to identify the victims and conduct autopsies are under way, Erie County Health Commission Anthony Billittier said Saturday evening. A federal disaster mortuary team was called to assist local forensic officials.

Despite reports from local authorities who said the plane hurtled toward the house from a sharp nosedive, Chealander said the current orientation of the plane indicates that it fell flat on its belly. Read full article »

All About Buffalo (New York)U.S. National Transportation Safety BoardContinental Airlines Inc.

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