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ARGENTINA | 06-05-2020 09:16

At least two killed after air ambulance crashes near Esquel

Pilot and co-pilot believed to have survived crash involving small Learjet 35A plane, which had been refitted for medical purposes.

At least two people have died after a medical plane crashed near Esquel, in Chubut Province, late Tuesday night.

The crash, which happened at around 11pm local time, involved an air ambulance, a private plane refitted for medical purposes. It was travelling en route to picking up a patient needing emergency cardiac treatment when it went down in heavy fog, according to reports.

At least four people were on board the Learjet 35A when it went down near Esquel Airport (otherwise known as Aeropuerto Internacional Brigadier General Antonio Parodi), some 18 kilometres from the Patagonian town, news agencies said.

They included the pilot, co-pilot, a doctor and a nurse. The identities of the latter two, who are believed to have died instantly upon impact, are yet to be confirmed.

Journalist Ricardo Bustos, speaking on the local FM Del Lago radio station, confirmed that "a doctor, a nurse, the pilot and the co-pilot" had been on board, adding that two had died in the accident.

The plane went up in flames upon impact, he said.

Reports in local media outlets suggested that the plane had been affected by low visibility amid heavy fog. Police officers, including forensic specialists, and investigators are at the crash site now probing what happened.

The small aircraft, which can carry six passengers and two crew, was heading to Esquel to pick up a young three-year-old child, who is undergoing treatment for a heart condition and needed to be transferred to a medical centre with more resources in Buenos Aires City, local outlets reported.

Transport officials confirmed the crash in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

– TIMES/NA

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