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Elko police: Pilot likely saved lives in medical plane crash

November 20, 2016

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Although four people died when a medical aircraft went down in northern Nevada, police say the pilot probably prevented more casualties by crashing the plane into a parking lot and avoiding nearby homes and businesses.

The pilot, two medical crew members and a patient were killed after the American MedFlight plane crashed and caught on fire Friday night shortly after taking off from Elko Regional Airport.

Elko police Lt. Rich Genseal says the plane went down where Barrick Gold Corp. employees park their personal vehicles before taking buses to a mine.

Genseal says the employees had already departed by bus, so there weren’t any people in the parking lot at the time.

He says the twin-engine plane was headed to a Salt Lake City hospital and apparently experienced mechanical problems.

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