Four die after air ambulance crashes near St Maarten

The Associated Press reported today that a medical emergency flight crashed near St. Maarten today, killing all four aboard, including a cruise ship passenger from Cyprus who suffered heart trouble.

AP said that the plane was carrying the tourist to the French island of Martinique for specialized cardiac care, according to a nurse at the St. Maarten Medical Center who declined to be identified because she was not authorized to release the information.

According to AP, the government of Martinique said in a statement that a doctor and nurse  were also aboard the plane. They were identified as Jean-Michel Dudouit and Gerard Omere of the Pierre Zobda Quitman University Hospital Center in Fort-de-France, director Daniel Riam said.

AP said that the Piper Cheyenne III, owned by Transports Aeriens Intercaraibes, crashed four minutes after takeoff from L’Esperance Airport in St. Martin, the French territory that shares an island with Dutch St. Maarten.

Martinique officials, according to AP, said they had originally sent another plane that experienced mechanical problems upon arriving at Princess Juliana airport in St. Maarten and it was replaced by the plane that crashed.

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