Air ambulance crash in North Dakota, killing three on board.
On three people on board an air ambulance have been killed after it crashed near Bismarck, North Dakota as it was making its way to pick up a patient.
The Bismarck Air Medical plane, a twin-engine, crashed just 20 miles (32km) from where it had taken off.
Air traffic control officers reported they had lost contact with the plane approximately 30 minutes after it had departed at 10:30pm local time.
The cause of the crash has not been determined as yet, but inclement weather was not an issue in the area according to the National Weather Service.
On board were the pilot, a paramedic, and a registered nurse on their way to pick up a patient in Williston, North Dakota, according to the CHI St. Alexius Health hospital and Bismarck Air Medical service.
The names of the deceased have not yet been released.
Hospital president Kurt Schley said it was “a sad day” for both the organisations.
Dan Schaefer, operations chief for Bismarck Air Medical and Metro Area Ambulance Operations, said: “We are grieving for the family members of those who were on board.”
County spokesperson Maxine Herr said the crash site was located approximately four hours after takeoff using mobile phone and radar technology.
She said debris is still being recovered from the crash site.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are conducting investigations into the crash.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the news of last night’s airplane crash that claimed the lives of the pilot, a paramedic and a registered nurse — individuals who dedicated their lives to saving the lives of others. We are forever grateful for their service.”
Air ambulance services are often used to reach patients in rural areas where hospitals are few and far between and regular ambulance services may not be fast enough.
There is no information available as yet about the patient the emergency personnel were on their way to pick up.