Weather delays South Dakota plane crash investigation

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) — Harsh wintry weather on Sunday prevented federal investigators from reaching the site in South Dakota where a single-engine plane crashed a day earlier, killing nine people and injuring three others.

Peter Knudson with the National Transportation Safety Board said three investigators were stuck in Sioux Falls, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) east of the crash site in Chamberlain, in south-central South Dakota.

Twelve people were aboard the Pilatus PC-12 bound for Idaho Falls, when it crashed within a mile after takeoff in Chamberlain about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, he said.

Federal investigators — one from Washington, D.C. and two from the Chicago area — likely would reach the crash site on Monday, Knudson said. Local authorities were guarding the site on Sunday, he said.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims. Brule County emergency manager Katheryn Benton told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that the passengers ranged in age from 7 to 81. She said the three survivors were three men ages 28, 27 and 17.

Chamberlain and parts of South Dakota were under a winter storm warning Saturday and Benton said planes were unable to land at Chamberlain at the time of the crash.

Weather will be among several factors they will review, although no cause for the crash has been determined, Knudson said.

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