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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens killed in plane crash

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash near Dillingham, Alaska, and his family has been notified, the senator's former chief of staff Mitch Rose confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

The private plane carrying Stevens and a former head of NASA crashed Monday night in a rugged stretch of southern Alaska. The crash left at least five people dead, but at least three people survived, authorities said.

Maj. Guy Hayes, a spokesman for the Alaska Air National Guard, said rescue crews were working to get at least three injured people away from the scene. He said it's possible there may be more survivors.

"They have definitely worked on two people. They're working on a third person to get him out of there right now," said Hayes, who noted that rough terrain has complicated rescue efforts.

"It's been pretty difficult to get into the area," Hayes said. "It took them roughly about 12 hours, I think, from when the plane was spotted by good samaritans until we got there on scene."

EADS North America said its chief executive officer, Sean O'Keefe, who formerly headed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was a passenger on the aircraft. (Continues here)

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