9 dead in South Dakota plane crash

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(CNN) — Nine people are dead after a plane crashed shortly after takeoff Saturday in Chamberlain, South Dakota, authorities said.

Among the nine dead are two children and the pilot, Brule County States Attorney Theresa Maule Rossow said in a statement.

There were 12 people on the plane. The three survivors were taken to Sioux Falls for treatment.

The crash happened before noon as major winter weather barreled through the region, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

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

The crash was weather related, according to the Brule Buffalo County Emergency District.

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 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,” Rossow said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

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