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Nation & World

9 Idaho Family Members Killed In South Dakota Plane Crash

A Pilatus PC-12, the same type of plane that crashed near Chamberlain, S.D., on Sunday.

Updated on Sunday at 11:o5 p.m. E.T.

Nine members of an extended Idaho family died after a plane crashed in Chamberlain, S.D., near the center of the state, on Saturday. Among those killed were two children and the pilot, authorities say.

EastIdahoNews.com said the family of 12 were returning home to Idaho Falls from a weekend hunting trip in South Dakota.

In a message posted on Facebook, Travis Garza, president of the nutritional products company Kyani, said the company's founders, Jim and Kirk Hansen, and seven of their relatives, died in the crash.

Garza said the other victims include: Jim and Kirk's father, James Hansen; Kirk's children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim's son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.

He said three family members were "seriously injured" in the crash. Kirk's son, Josh; Jim's son, Matt and his son-in-law, Thomas, are being treated at a South Dakota hospital, according to Garza.

NPR has not independently confirmed the identities of the victims.

"We are all mourning and ask your prayers for families of the affected families," Garza wrote.

Jim and Kirk Hansen were also executives with the petroleum products distributor Conrad & Bischoff and KJ's Super Stores.

Brian Wood, the director of an Idaho Falls funeral home, called the brothers "pillars of the community," in a Facebook post.

"Our community has a dark cloud over it now," Wood added. "They will never know the many lives they touched."

Twelve people were aboard the Pilatus PC-12 when it crashed shortly after takeoff Saturday afternoon en route from Chamberlain to Idaho Falls, Idaho, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson told NPR. NTSB, which is handling the investigation, could not confirm the cause of the crash.

The three survivors were taken to Sioux Falls, S.D., about 130 miles east of Chamberlain, said Brule County State's Attorney Theresa Maule Rossow in a statement posted to the Brule County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page.

"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.

According to Pilatus' website, the current PC-12 model of the single-engine turboprop plane lists a maximum capacity of one pilot and 10 passengers.

Investigators from the NTSB have been dispatched to the scene in rural Brule County, agency spokesman Knudson said. He added that investigators will look at a range of factors, including weather conditions and the aircraft's history.

A preliminary investigation report is expected to be released within two weeks, Knudson said.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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