EADS executive, former NASA chief survives plane crash
Sean O'Keefe, the head of aerospace firm EADS' North American unit and a former administrator of NASA, has survived a plane crash in Alaska, the European company confirmed Tuesday, dpa reported.
O'Keefe was on board a small private plane that went down late Monday night in a remote part of south-western Alaska. Five others were killed in the crash, including former US senator Ted Stevens. Four people including O'Keefe and his son Kevin survived and were flown to local hospitals.
EADS North America Chairman Ralph Crosby said it was "with a great sense of relief and gratitude" that the company learned of O'Keefe's survival. He offered condolences to the families of those killed.
O'Keefe became chief executive of EADS North America last year, helping oversee the European firm's long-running struggle to win a Pentagon contract to build the next generation of aerial refuellers against rival Boeing. EADS is also the parent company of Airbus.
O'Keefe served as NASA chief from 2001 to 2005 under former president George W Bush. He presided over the space agency during the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster that killed all seven astronauts on board.