A former long-serving US senator and at least four other people were killed when a plane crashed near a remote fishing village in Alaska today.
The body of Ted Stevens, 86, the longest-serving Republican senator ever, was found in the wreckage by rescuers.
Ex-NASA space agency chief Sean O’Keefe and his teenage son Kevin were among the survivors, a NASA spokespersons said. He is US chief executive of Airbus manufacturer EADS.
Stevens was one of two survivors of a 1978 plane crash at Anchorage International Airport that killed his wife, Ann, and several others.
Stevens and O’Keefe were long-time fishing friends who had been planning a trip near where the float plane crashed while carrying nine passengers.
Rescuers arrived by helicopter and were giving medical care to at least three survivors, Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said.
The crash happened north of the town of Dillingham in Bristol Bay about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage. The aircraft is a DeHavilland DHC-3T.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but the flights in the area are often perilous through the mountains, even in good weather.
The National Weather Service reported rain and fog, with low clouds and limited visibility today.
Stevens was appointed to the Senate in 1968 and served longer than any other Republican.
The airport in Anchorage where he survived the earlier crash is now named after Stevens.
Stevens’ standing in Alaska was dented by corruption allegations and a federal trial in 2008. He was convicted of all seven counts – and narrowly lost his Senate seat to Democrat Mark Begich in the election the following week.
But five months after the election, Attorney General Eric Holder sought to dismiss the indictment against Stevens and not proceed with a new trial because of prosecutorial misconduct by federal prosecutors.