NTSB hopeful of retrieving recorders of crashed Colgan Q400

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NTSB investigators are hopeful they can retrieve the cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders from the wreckage of the Colgan Air Q400 that crashed on approach to Buffalo, saying the tail section of the turboprop "is relatively intact".

"We're hopeful they [the recorders] will be intact. They can withstand a lot of impact," a NTSB spokesman said this morning during a press conference.

A total 49 people were aboard the twin-engine turboprop, including an off-duty pilot. This differs from previous reports of 48 passengers aboard the aircraft.

There are no indications of survivors. Additionally, at least one ground fatality has been reported, bringing to 50 the total number of fatalities.

The NTSB spokesman stresses that it is too early to know the cause of the crash. "We don't have any factual information other than that the aircraft is down and that it hit a house."

Asked by a reporter to address the safety record of the Q400, he said: "I won't talk about the safety record. That gets into analysis."

A Bombardier spokesman tells ATI that a "veil of sadness has descended upon the company". Technical advisors from the Canadian airframer will arrive on the scene today.