Medical air ambulance crash kills patient and three crew members

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 27, 2011 11:43 AM
Medical air ambulance crash kills patient and three crew members

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - Federal authorities began investigating on Saturday the cause of a medical air ambulance helicopter crash that killed a patient and three crew members Friday night.

The helicopter was transporting the patient to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri, just northeast of Kansas City when it crashed while approaching an airport for a refueling stop, said Lynn Lunsford, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The helicopter went down about a mile from the Midwest National Air Center airport in Mosby, Missouri, several miles northeast of Liberty, Lunsford said. There were no survivors.

A paramedic, flight nurse, pilot and the patient died in the crash, the owner of the helicopter, Air Methods Corporation, said in a statement on its website. Air Methods did not identify the crew or patient.

The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, was based in St. Joseph, Missouri, Air Methods said. Air Methods is the largest provider of air medical emergency transport in the United States, according to its website.

Investigators for the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the crash site Saturday morning to begin looking into the cause of the crash, Lunsford said.

(Editing by David Bailey)