One person sustains minor injuries after small plane crashes into bay near Ocean City airport

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One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a single-engine plane crash near the Ocean City Airport in Berlin on Sunday afternoon, police said.

The incident, which took place during takeoff, ended with the plane in the water nearby, said Sgt. Colin Sweitzer with the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack. The airport borders the Sinepuxent Bay, which separates West Ocean City from Assateague Island.

The four other people aboard did not seek medical treatment, Sweitzer said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., troopers from the Berlin Barrack received a 911 call for a private aircraft that crashed into the bay, which is adjacent to the Salisbury/Ocean City Regional Airport. According to a preliminary investigation, the pilot of the plane, identified as Matthew Cortigiani, 25, of Utah, advised that smoke filled the cabin as he attempted to shut off the single-engine plane, a news release late Sunday said.

The pilot redirected to the airport in an attempt to land.  The aircraft bounced on the runway and crashed into the bay east of the end of the runway. The Ocean City Fire Department transported one of the five occupants of the plane to TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury for treatment of their injuries, police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified, with an FAA representative responding to the scene.  The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation also assisted at the scene.

The FAA will assume the crash investigation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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