“The men and women of law enforcement, first responders and medical professionals should be commended in their heroic actions to rescue the victims in the extreme weather conditions,” according to a statement from Brule County States Attorney Theresa Maule Rossow, which was posted to the Brule County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page Saturday evening.
The Pilatus PC-12 had taken off at the Chamberlain Municipal Airport and was heading to Idaho Falls, Idaho, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
Two children are among those who died and there were 12 people on board the plane, KSFY-TV reported.
BRULE COUNTY, S.D. (KSFY) – UPDATE 9:45 p.m. – KIFI reports members of an Idaho Falls family were killed Saturday afternoon in a South Dakota plane crash near Chamberlain.
The crash took nine lives, including prominent businessmen Jim and Kirk Hansen, the pilot, 2 young children, and four other males.
Three others survived the crash and are being treated at a local hospital.
The Hansen’s own K & J Super Stores, oil company Conrad and Bischoff and founders of the health and wellness company Kyani.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Chamberlain Municipal Airport around 12:30 p.m. in a nearby farm field.
Family friends told KIFI the men were on a traditional Thanksgiving hunting trip in South Dakota and were returning home.
Conditions poor at time of crash
Though the cause of the crash hasn’t been released, Chamberlain and central south-central South Dakota were under a winter storm warning at the time.
The NWS said visibility was a half a mile with light winds reported at the airport at 12:30 p.m. There have been no snowfall totals reported for Chamberlain, but Gregory, which is south of Chamberlain, reported eight inches of snow as of 2 p.m., the NWS said.
Interstate 90 has been closed all day from the Wyoming border to Chamberlain.