A plane crash in South Dakota on Saturday claimed the lives of at least nine people, including the pilot and two children. The remaining three passengers on the Idaho-bound flight have been transported to medical facilities in Sioux Falls, according to CBS affiliate KELO-TV.
Among the dead are Kirk and Jim Hansen, executives with the wellness company Kyäni, oil company Conrad & Bischoff and KJ’s Super Stores, according to a Facebook statement from Kyäni Vision Group. The statement said several other family members were aboard the plane and did not survive the crash. The family was returning from a weekend hunting trip. Kirk’s son, Stockton, also perished in the crash.
The victims’ ages ranged from seven to 81 years old. The three survivors were all men, the youngest of which is 17.
The plane, a Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop passenger aircraft, went down about a mile southwest of the Chamberlain airport. It had taken off a little before noon and was headed to Idaho Falls Regional Airport. As many as 12 people are believed to have been on board.
The area where the crash occurred is currently under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service, with heavy snow and wind gusts as high as 45 mph. It’s unclear why the plane was allowed to take off in these conditions.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that investigators are on the way to the accident site. The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct the investigation.
CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave reports the NTSB plans to send a team of three to the scene but, given the current conditions, they are not sure when investigators will reach the crash site. NTSB investigators arrived in Sioux Falls on Sunday, but will not attempt to reach the scene of the crash until Monday at the earliest due to poor weather conditions.