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Former Sen. Ted Stevens Killed in Alaska Plane Crash

Stevens
Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Ex NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and his son where injured in the crash that killed Stevens.

August 10, 2010 — Authorities have confirmed that former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and four others were killed in a plane crash 20 miles north of Dillingham, Alaska, on Monday night, August 9. Former NASA chief and EADS executive Sean O’Keefe and his teenage son were also on board. Sean is currently in critical condition at a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.

Major Guy Hayes, a spokesman for the Alaska Air National Guard, has said that rescue teams are working to help at least three survivors, but the rough terrain has made rescue efforts dangerous and time-consuming. They have been airlifted to Anchorage, Alaska, to receive medical treatment. Major Hayes has said there may be more survivors. A total of nine people were reported to be on board the aircraft.

The Air National Guard was called to the area around 7 p.m. on Monday after passing aircraft reported seeing a downed plane. Rain, high winds, and fog meant that it took 12 hours for rescue crews to arrive. During that time, volunteers hiked into the area and helped the injured until rescuers were able to reach the area.

Flights in the area can be challenging even under normal conditions because of the mountainous conditions. The aircraft, a de Havilland DHC-Z3T seaplane, took off at 2 p.m. from Lake Nerka heading to Agulowak Lodge on Lake Aleknagik. The plane was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), according to FAA spokesman Mike Fergus, and therefore did not have to file a flight plan. The National Weather Service reported that rain, fog, and low clouds lead to low visibility early in the day with conditions ranging from 10 miles of visibility down to 3 miles.

The deceased are Senator Ted Stevens, 86; pilot Theron “Terry” Smith, 62; William “Bill” Phillips, Sr.; Dana Tindall, 48; and her daughter Corey Tindall, 16.

The injured are former NASA chief Sean O’Keefe, 54; his son Kevin O’Keefe; William “Willy” Phillips, 13; son of Bill Phillips, Sr.; and Jim Morhard.

 
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