updated 8/23/2004 2:26:43 PM ET 2004-08-23T18:26:43

A medical helicopter airlifting a baby to a Reno hospital crashed in a remote area of northern Nevada, killing all five people aboard, authorities said.

The Access Air helicopter crashed either late Saturday or early Sunday into the upper part of 9,775-feet Mt. Tobin, about 200 miles northeast of Reno, Humboldt County Undersheriff Brian Jonas said.

Jonas said the 11-day-old infant, its mother, the pilot, a nurse and a paramedic were killed. Their names were not released.

“We’re devastated,” said Jim Hutchens, president of Access Air based in Boise, Idaho. “These were our friends and colleagues.”

Authorities said they lost contact with the helicopter about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bell 407 helicopter was en route to Washoe Medical Center after landing at Battle Mountain General Hospital to pick up the baby and its mother.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to arrive Monday.

Weather not apparent factor
It was a little windy, but weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, said Chuck Young, Access Air base manager in Elko.

A search for the helicopter began after it was reported missing. The wreckage was spotted late Sunday morning by another pilot.

Authorities were unsure of the baby’s medical problem. Hospital officials said federal law barred them from discussing it.

“It really is a tragedy for us,” Jonas said. “Being in rural areas ... we’re so far from trauma centers, and we really rely on this kind of transportation to save lives.”

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