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Five Believed Dead in Plane Crash, Sen Stevens Fate Unclear

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Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was on board a plane that crashed Monday night in a remote location about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage, sources told Fox News.
Stevens' former counsel, Ken Nahigian, confirmed to Fox News that the former senator was on the flight.
Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe also was on the flight, according to defense contractor EADS North America. O'Keefe is the current chief executive of the U.S.-based division of the European firm.
Stevens' condition was not known.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which was sending a team to the crash site, said nine people were aboard the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, a single-engine plane commonly used to ferry passengers in and out of remote areas.

The NTSB said rescuers at the scene reported five deaths.
O'Keefe and Stevens were said to be traveling with their sons.
The Coast Guard and Alaska Air National Guard are working to get to the scene of the crash, according to Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes. He said the Guard was called to the area about 20 miles north of Dillingham at about 7 p.m. Monday after a passing aircraft saw the wreckage.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the plane is registered to the company whose lodge Stevens was scheduled to visit Monday. The newspaper reported that the plane was registered to Anchorage-based communications company GCI -- the firm owns the Agulowak Lodge where Stevens was traveling Monday.
State and federal officials say severe weather has hampered the rescue operation. Hayes said about five good Samaritans were on scene early Tuesday helping the crash victims. He said he was told by Alaska State Troopers that there were "eight or nine" people on board.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a brief statement on the crash Tuesday.

"While we await further information about this tragic accident, I ask Alaskans to join me in prayer for all those aboard the aircraft and their families," Stevens' former colleague said.

Stevens left office at the beginning of 2009 after losing to Democrat Mark Begich in an election that coincided with Stevens' high-profile corruption trial. The case took several twists and turns -- Stevens was convicted on seven charges just days before the election, but Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the charges last April citing prosecutorial misconduct. The former senator had been accused of lying on a disclosure form to hide gifts from an oil company executive.

Stevens suggested afterward that he might have won re-election if not for the "unfair" case against him. Despite calls for a do-over election at the time, Begich stayed in the seat and Stevens returned to private life.

The senator served more than 40 years in office and took on a patriarchal role for his state, leveraging his seniority to win large sums of federal funding for Alaska projects. The airport in Anchorage is named after Stevens.

The state has a history of lawmakers and their families involved in plane crashes. Stevens lost his first wife in a plane crash which he survived. Begich's father, former Rep. Nick Begich, was also killed in an Alaska plane crash along with House Majority Leader Hale Boggs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Its been reported that Ted Stevens was among those killed

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