Apparently pummeled by a winter storm, a single-engine Pilatus PC-12 turboprop passenger plane crashed in South Dakota Saturday, killing nine of 12 people on board, including two children. The three survivors, all in critical condition, are being taken care of in hospitals at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The plane took off from the Chamberlain Municipal Airport in Chamberlain, South Dakota, and crashed 12:30 p.m. Saturday. It fell from the sky shortly after taking-off from the airport, which is 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Sioux Falls. It was bound for the Idaho Falls Regional Airport in Bonneville County, Idaho.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the area where the crash occurred was then under a winter storm warning that saw heavy snow with wind gusts as high as 45 mph. Brule County emergency manager Katheryn Benton said planes were unable to land at Chamberlain at the time of the crash.

The names of the victims haven't been released. The Argus Leader, a Sioux Falls newspaper, said the passengers ranged in age from 7 to 81. The three survivors were three men ages 28, 27 and 17.

It was later revealed among the dead were brothers Kirk and Jim Hansen, executives with Kyäni, Conrad & Bischoff and KJ's Super Stores, their father Jim Hansen Sr. and six other family members. This news was confirmed by a Facebook statement from Kyäni Vision Group, which said several other Hansen family members were aboard the plane and did not survive the crash.

The Hansen family was returning from a weekend hunting trip. They are prominent members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their local community.

“They were our good friends,” said Kevin Call, the owner of a local candy company to the Idaho Statesman, a daily newspaper in Boise. “Their influence in the community and church will be heavily felt. They weren’t showy, but quiet, heavy contributors.”

“The city of Idaho Falls is a better place because of them," said Darin Skidmore, who knew the Hansens personally. “I believe God puts people like them on the earth to help people like me and you. The loss of these great men will never be recovered.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said a team of three investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now at the accident site. The NTSB will conduct the investigation. Authorities said weather will be among several factors to be reviewed but no cause for the crash has been determined, said Peter Knudson from the NTSB.

Made in Switzerland, the PC-12 is the best-selling pressurized single-engine turbine-powered aircraft in the world with 1,700 deliveries as of October 2019.

Snow Storm Boston Snowstorms hit Massachusetts on Christmas 2017 and it included some thundersnow. Photo: Joe Difazio/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES