The National Transportation Safety Board is still on their way from Denver following a fatal plane crash Sunday night.
NTSB will be the agency in charge of investigating the cause of the crash that happened close to 11 p.m. in Morton County.
About 15-20 miles northwest of Mandan, a three passenger plane crashed into a remote pasture on private land.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Office took us to the site earlier. Here’s what we know so far:
The remains of the plane carrying three First Responders lies in the snow. All three passengers were killed traveling from Bismarck to Williston on a Metro Ambulance Aircraft.
The Morton County Sheriff’s office discovered the tail of the plane first, close to 1 a.m. Monday morning.
The debris is spread out over over a large area, estimated at about three quarters of a mile.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says, “It makes it a little more difficult to make sure we control the scene at this point, and to make sure the investigation is completed and it’s going to take a little bit longer.”
And a search like this one with many pieces can be a lot more difficult in the snow.
Kirchmeier adds, “Thank goodness it was light snow last night, so a lot of the debris wasn’t covered up.”
CHI St. Alexius Health says one of its Registered Nurses, along with a Bismarck Air Medical Paramedic and Pilot died in the crash. Sheriff Kirchmeier says it’s hard to respond to the loss of fellow First Responders.
Kirchmeier explains, “It makes it tough. It’s one of those things that you hope never happens, but I want to make sure that we do this investigation properly and give the families the time and respect that they deserve.”
Names of the victims have not been released at this time.
The Morton County Sheriff says it was thanks to North Dakota’s Civil Air Patrol who worked alongside the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center out of Florida, that they were able to locate the plane so quickly.
Right now, the crash remains under investigation. We won’t know the cause of the crash until NTSB completes their investigation.