North Memorial helicopter crashes near Alexandria, 3 in critical condition

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Three people are in critical condition after a North Memorial medical helicopter crashed near Alexandria, Minn.

The crash happened at 2:07 a.m. on the east side of Lake Winona while en route to the Alexandria airport.

All three on board were crew members. No patients were on the helicopter.

The three crew members were transported to the Douglas County Hospital and transferred to North Memorial.

It’s unclear what caused the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

On Monday, a spokesperson for North Memorial told FOX 9 the Agusta 109 that crashed was in compliance with an FAA airworthiness directive that was published just two days before the crash.

The directive requiring a visual inspection of the tail rotor drive shaft after cracks had been discovered on an Agusta Model A109S.

Agusta helicopters are a popular choice all over the world for air ambulance services and have earned reputation as safe and reliable.

Statement from North Memorial Health Center’s CEO:

“I am extremely proud of our team members for their response at the site,” commented J. Kevin Croston, MD, CEO of North Memorial Health Care. “Our immediate concern is with our crew members who are now being treated at North Memorial Medical Center.  We are glad they are here.  There is no better place to receive care.”

According to North Memorial's website, it owns and operates eight Agusta 109 helicopters, which are at the fastest civilian helicopter on the market and can reach flight speeds of up to 180 MPH.