Updated: 12:45 p.m.
Hawaii’s state health director was killed in a plane crash Wednesday afternoon, while eight others aboard the flight survived.
Loretta Fuddy, the director of the state Department of Health, and her deputy were among the nine people aboard a small plane that crashed into the water off the island of Molokai. A Coast Guard helicopter and Maui fire crews rescued most of the surviving passengers, and one person swam to shore, according to Hawaii’s KHON News. The airline’s owner says the plane crash was caused by engine failure.
Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Fuddy as the state’s health director in 2011, capping a more than 30-year career in the public health field. By state statute, the head of the Health Department also serves as the mayor of Kalawao County, which is why Fuddy had traveled to Molokai.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are planning a full investigation into the crash.
This post has been updated to include comment from the airline owner.