4:10: EADS North America has released a new statement: "It was with a great sense of relief and gratitude that we learned that Sean, and his son, Kevin, survived the aircraft crash in Alaska. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those less fortunate in this terrible
accident. We owe a debt of gratitude for the heroic efforts of the
members of the rescue crew and others who rushed to the scene. We look forward
to Sean's full recovery and his rapid return to EADS North America."
2:55: Great news. Keith Cowing at NASA Watch
reports Sean O'Keefe and son survived crash with broken bones.
1:25: NASA posted a photo gallery of O'Keefe as he departed the agency, which you can view by clicking here
. There is still no word on O'Keefe's status.
1:20: Alaska TV station
reports Ted Stevens died in the crash, quoting a former aide and longtime family friend.
11:40: MSNBC reports
one of O'Keefe's sons was on board. Again, the status is unknown for all nine people aboard, including Stevens, but local reports indicate five died.
11:25: Reading Twitter updates on O'Keefe reveals his prolific career. He is variously credited in Twitter-sphere as the EADS NA CEO, former NASA administrator, former chancellor of LSU and, according to @NBCConnecticut, a "graduate of Wheeler High in North Stonington". That list still doesn't include his assignments as Secretary of the Navy, director of the office of Management and Budget and senior executive at General Electric.
11:20am: According to the FAA web site
, the aircraft was owned by GCI Communication Corp, an Anchorage-based company. The DHC-3T was manufactured in 1957.
11:14am: Still no word on status of passengers. Click here
to see a map of the area where the aircraft crashed. According to local reports, the aircraft was en route to a lodge.
Original post: EADS North America has confirmed that chief executive officer Sean O'Keefe was aboard the DeHavilland DHC-3T that crashed about 8pm last night, local time, in Alaska. Former Senator Ted Stevens is also believed to be aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched an investigative team to the crash site, citing local reports indicating four of the nine people aboard the aircraft survived. At this time EADS does not know about O'Keefe's status.
Our thoughts are with O'Keefe's family and colleagues, and we hope for the best for the nine people aboard the aircraft. Very often the initial reports are wrong. Let's hope this one turns out in our favor.
We'll keep updating as more news arrives.