UPDATE: Ted Stevens Dead in Fatal Plane Crash: NASA’s Sean O’Keefe Injured


Former Senator Ted Stevens was among five people killed in a plane crash in Alaska on Monday. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, was 86. Former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe was previously reported as also having died in the crash. However, it now appears O’Keefe survived the crash but was injured.

Former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens
Former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens

Sean O’Keefe, 54, resigned as NASA administrator in 2005 and most recently served as the CEO of EADS North America, a division of the European aerospace firm. An unidentified source told Reuters on Tuesday afternoon that despite earlier reports, O’Keefe did survive the plane crash.

Sean O'Keefe
Sean O'Keefe

Ted Stevens and Sean O’Keefe were among eight people, plus the pilot, believed to have been on board a small plane that crashed Monday night in a remote area of Alaska near Dillingham, Alaska. The plane was reportedly taking passengers out to a cabin where Stevens and O’Keefe planned to go fishing.

Volunteers hiked into the area Monday to provide medical aid and rescue helicopters arrived early Tuesday to airlift survivors to Anchorage.

Five people were reported dead in the crash but no names have yet been released by authorities. A spokesman for the family of Ted Stevens  issued a press statement this morning saying the family had been officially notified the former senator died in the crash.

No official statement has been made on O’Keefe’s condition but NASA Watch reports he and his son, who was also on the plane, survived but were “rather banged up.”

Ironically, Ted Stevens survived a plane crash in 1978 that killed his first wife and four others. His current wife was not with him on the Alaska flight.

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