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The Latest: Medical plane might have broken up in mid-air

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on an air ambulance crash in western North Dakota that killed all three people on board (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A Civil Air Patrol official says an initial investigation indicates an air ambulance plane that crashed in western North Dakota might have broken up in midair.

The late-Sunday crash of the twin-engine Bismarck Air Medical plane killed all three people on board — the pilot, a paramedic and a nurse.

Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Sean Johnson says an analysis by an Air Force rescue team based at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida indicates the plane might have broken up at about 14,000 feet (4,300 meters). He says the debris on the ground also indicated that.

Johnson says he doesn’t want to speculate on the cause. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

FAA records show that the Cessna 441 turboprop was built in 1982.

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10:40 a.m.

Gov. Doug Burgum is expressing his condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of three people who died in an air ambulance crash in western North Dakota.

The twin-engine Bismarck Air Medical plane went down in a Morton County field northwest of Bismarck late Sunday, while flying from Bismarck to Williston to pick up a patient.

CHI St. Alexius Health identified the dead as a Bismarck Air Medical pilot, a paramedic with that company, and a CHI St. Alexius registered nurse. Their names haven’t been released.

Burgum said in a statement that he and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum are deeply saddened by the deaths of people who worked to save the lives of others.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause of the crash.

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9:30 a.m.

An air ambulance flying from Bismarck to Williston to pick up a patient crashed in Morton County, killing the three people on board.

County spokeswoman Maxine Herr says the twin-engine Bismarck Air Medical airplane took off about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and crashed shortly after in a farm field about 20 miles northwest of Bismarck.

CHI St. Alexius Health identified the dead as a Bismarck Air Medical pilot, a paramedic with that company, and a CHI St. Alexius registered nurse. Their names weren’t immediately released.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office, Civil Air Patrol and an Air Force rescue team are investigating. Authorities located the crash site about 2 a.m. Monday.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately determined. The National Weather Service says there was no inclement weather in the area at the time.

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