Former Sen. Ted Stevens Dies in Alaska Plane Crash (Video/Text)

Dillingham, Alaska–(ENEWSPF)– From ABC News:

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens died in a plane crash in southwest Alaska, a spokesman for the Stevens’ family confirmed to ABC News today.

Five of the nine people who were on board died in the plane crash near Dillingham, Alaska, and two were seriously injured. Rescue crews reached the wreckage Tuesday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

The Stevens’ family released a statement earlier offering their prayers for all those on board and for their families.

"We thank the brave men and women who are working to reach the site. We continue to work with the Alaska National Guard, the US Coast Guard and the Alaska State Troopers. We thank everyone for their support and prayers," the statement read.

Defense contractor EADS North America said that former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe was a passenger on the plane. O’Keefe is the current CEO of the U.S.-based division of the European company and was in charge of NASA from 2001 to 2005. His condition was unknown.

According to the report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) say "from 1990 through 2008 there were 1,566 commuter and air taxi crashes in the United States. Alaska accounted for more than one-third of all those crashes — 551 accidents — and 20 percent of all the fatal crashes during that time."

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