Kazakh air ambulance with sick baby aboard crashes, killing five

AFP , Thursday 28 Jan 2016

An air ambulance helicopter carrying a baby girl with suspected leukaemia to hospital has crashed in Kazakhstan, killing all five on board, the emergency ministry said Thursday.

The bodies of the pilot, a doctor, paramedic and the baby and her mother were recovered Thursday after the plane went missing in the Almaty region of southern Kazakhstan at around 5:00 pm local time (1100 GMT) on Wednesday, a spokesman for the emergency ministry told AFP.

Kazakh media reported that the baby girl was two months old and had been hospitalised on Monday but required treatment at a larger regional hospital after receiving a preliminary diagnosis of leukaemia.

Air traffic control lost contact with the helicopter about 15 minutes before it was due to land.

The search for the helicopter was hampered by snow and strong winds, the emergency situations ministry said in a statement.

The McDonnell Douglas-600 helicopter was taking the baby from the town of Usharal to hospital in the regional centre of Taldykorgan, a distance of around 240 kilometres (150 miles).

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