Four people died Thursday night after a medical helicopter crashed near Porterville, California, the Kern County Fire Department said.
The helicopter was en route to a Bakersfield hospital when it crashed about 7 p.m. PST Thursday, KFSN-TV reported on its website.
Three crew members and a patient were onboard the helicopter, the TV station reported.
First Responders are a close-knit group and these are the calls that hurt the most. Our thoughts and prayers are... https://t.co/pJFGKaJWOa— Kern County Fire (@kerncountyfire) Dec. 11, 2015
The SkyLife helicopter took off from Porterville Municipal Airport, officials said.
Fresno County emergency dispatchers lost contact with the helicopter and dispatched Kern County firefighters, who found a debris field about two hours later.
It was raining at the airport with low clouds at 7 p.m., AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said. Zero to quarter-mile visibilities were common across the region at the time, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike LeSeney.