BISMARCK, ND (AP) – An air ambulance on the verge of recovering a patient crashed shortly after taking off in North Dakota, killing three people on board, and military officials involved in the response said stated that the plane may have broken in the air.

The twin-engine Bismarck Air Medical took off around 10:30 pm Sunday and crashed shortly thereafter in a field about 32 km northwest of Bismarck. Air traffic control officials lost contact with the plane at around 11 pm, said county spokeswoman Maxine Herr.

CHI St. Alexius Health and Bismarck Air Medical stated in a joint statement that the pilot, a paramedic and a registered nurse were traveling to Williston to look for a patient. The statement did not provide their names.

"It's a sad day for both of our organizations," said Kurt Schley, President of CHI St. Alexius Bismarck Health, and Dan Schaefer, Chief of Bismarck Air Medical Operations and Ambulance Operations in the United States. metropolitan area. "We complain about the family members of those on board."

The Morton County Sheriff's Office, the Civilian Air Patrol and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center based at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida located the scene of the crash early Monday morning in the morning. using radar technology and mobile telephony, Herr said.

An analysis by the Air Force team revealed that the aircraft could have shattered at about 4,300 meters and that "that corresponds to what they found on the ground," said the Lieutenant-Colonel Sean Johnson, Lieutenant of the Civil Aviation Patrol.

He said that he did not want to speculate on the cause. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating. FAA records indicate that the Cessna 441 turboprop was built in 1982. Bismarck Air Medical is listed as a registered owner.

Meteorologist at the National Weather Service, Jeff Schild, said there was little snow in the area at that time, but that it was not cold. Johnson said that there was a potential for fog or haze.

Governor Doug Burgum issued a statement Monday expressing his condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims.

"We are deeply saddened by the announcement of last night's crash, which cost the lives of the pilot, paramedic and registered nurse – people who have dedicated their lives to save the lives of others, "he said. "We are always grateful for their service."

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