A plane crash that killed Hawaii’s director of the Department of Health was caused by engine failure, the airline owner told KITV4 news.
The plane crashed Wednesday off the coast of Molokai, and Loretta Fuddy was killed. Eight other people survived.
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Richard Schauman, owner of Makani Kai Air, told KITV4 that the engine failed but officials do not yet know the cause. The plane took off from Molokai and was headed to Oahu. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Fuddy was remembered by Sen. Josh Green as a dedicated individual, concerned about the health of Hawaiians.
“When she came in to the job, absolutely 100 percent of the people supported her testimony. There were tears of joy that she had risen to the department of health directorship and she was proud, and she should have been,” Green told KITV4.
“She did not just a great job in the department of health, but her whole career.”
After the crash occurred, the U.S. Coast Guard sent two helicopters and a plane to help with the rescue, NBC News reported.
They lifted three people by winch into the helicopter. The Maui Fire Department also assisted with the rescue.
Schuman told NBC News that the pilot’s 30 years of experience helped him to bring the plane down and save eight of the nine people on board.
“He did what he was trained to do and the rest of it’s in God’s hands,” Schuman said, adding that the survivors were doing well, with nonlife-threatening injuries. “They were admitted to hospital and now some of them have gone home or to hotels. They’re all being taken care of.”
Fuddy was the health department official who released Pres. Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
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