NASA administrator: O'Keefe survived Alaska plane crash

JUNEAU, AK (WAFB/AP) - Former LSU Chancellor and NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe has survived a plane crash in Alaska, reporters a Former NASA spokesman.  O'Keefe and his son Kevin survived the crash that killed former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and several others when the plane went down near Bristol Bay on Monday night.

The former spokesman for the space agency says he has talked to O'Keefe's family. They told him that O'Keefe and his son had some broken bones and other injuries.

A spokesman for the family of Ted Stevens says the former senator died in the crash. Authorities said the plane was carrying nine people and five are believed to be dead.

Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said rescuers arrived on helicopter early Tuesday and were giving medical care to survivors. He offered no additional details, except that there were potential fatalities.

The National Transportation Safety Board has reportedly launched a team to investigate the crash.

LSU Chancellor Michael Martin released a statement regarding O'Keefe.

The LSU community is happy and relieved to learn that former Chancellor Sean O'Keefe and his son Kevin were found alive following their plane crash in Alaska. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone affected by this tragic event, and we send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those lost in the crash.

O'Keefe is currently CEO of the U.S.-based division of EADS, which is a European company.

The company said it had no further information about O'Keefe's status.

He stepped down from LSU in Feb. 2008.

He was hired in Dec. 2004 and was in the fourth year of a five-year contract when he left the university.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve as chancellor of Louisiana State University," O'Keefe said in a written statement the day he announced he was resigning.

He did not discuss the reason for his departure.

His job status had been in question during the weeks prior to his departure after emails circulated in the business community questioning the alleged decision of LSU System President John Lombardi and a handful of members of the LSU Board of Supervisors to oust O'Keefe.

However, many said O'Keefe's time at LSU was worth it.

He gets lots of credit for the hugely successful "Forever LSU" fundraising campaign.

He was remembered by some students as being accessible, holding what he called "chancellor chats."

O'Keefe received lots of criticism for being one of several chancellors to flirt with the idea of forcing incoming fresmen to live on campus and he was against the LSU purple and gold confederate flag.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.