1 killed, 4 injured when Alaska flight aborted on takeoff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted.

Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. No hometown was disclosed. The critically hurt child was flown to Anchorage for treatment, along with two other family members.

The incident occurred with seven people on board the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver at the mouth of Tutka Bay near Homer.

The others on board appear to have non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

Patenella was traveling with his wife and three children as well as an adult male relative, according to officials at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. Reports initially said there were four children on board.

Hospital spokeswoman Derotha Ferraro said Patenella was deceased on arrival at the facility.

The mother, the critically injured child and a second child were flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Ferraro said. Their conditions were not immediately available.

"The relative remains in the Homer hospital in stable condition," Ferraro said in a statement.

The third child and the pilot were treated and released, Ferraro said. Troopers, however, say the pilot, Engjell Berisha, was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane crashed under unknown circumstances on takeoff. Coast Guard Petty Officer Amanda Norcross, however, said the manager of a nearby lodge reported the aircraft never left the water.

Troopers said a trooper patrol boat transported all on board to Homer, where the injured people were taken to the local hospital.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said his agency and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

The plane is owned by Anchorage-based Rust's Flying Service. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately comment on the incident.

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