9 dead after plane crashes in South Dakota during snow storm

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CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. — Nine people from eastern Idaho were killed in a rural South Dakota plane crash Saturday afternoon, according to a report from EastIdahoNews.

Twelve people were on the aircraft and among the dead are the pilot and two children, according to Brule County State Attorney Theresa Maule. She said the survivors were transported to Sioux Falls medical facilities for treatment.

The Pilatus PC-12 took off shortly before 12:30 p.m. CST from the Chamberlain Municipal Airport with the destination of Idaho Falls, according to flight data records. It reportedly went down in a cornfield south of Chamberlain.

The crash happened as major winter weather barreled through the region, FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said.

Snow was falling at up to an inch an hour in South Dakota, the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said. Visibility could fall to less than a mile, the weather service tweeted.

The Pilatus PC-12 aircraft had an intended destination of Idaho Falls Regional Airport, Lunsford said.

“The FAA and NTSB have been notified and will investigate,” Maule said in a Brule County Sheriff’s Office news release. “The men and women of law enforcement, first responders and medical professionals should be commended in their heroic actions to rescue the victims in extreme weather conditions.”

Two Idaho Falls businessmen were on the aircraft with their father and other family members. The airplane was registered to Conrad and Bischoff Inc. of Idaho Falls, according to FAA records.

Brule County will not be releasing the names of those in the aircraft until all family members have been notified. At this point, EastIdahoNews.com is also not identifying the victims.

This is the second fatal airplane crash involving eastern Idahoans this month. Mike and Robin Quinn, owners of Heise Hot Springs, died when their plane went down Nov. 22 near Elko, Nevada.

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