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Report On Ted Stevens Plane Crash Finds That Victims Waited For Hours For Help To Arrive

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Impact from the Alaska plane crash that killed former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and four others earlier this month dislodged an emergency locator beacon from its mounting bracket, federal investigators said.

The antenna cable also was found separated from the beacon, according to a preliminary report released late Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report on the Aug. 9 crash also said the plane left a corporate-owned lodge at around 2:30 p.m., and the wreckage was spotted on a remote southwest Alaska mountainside at about 8:05 p.m. It said the crash occurred at around 2:45 p.m.

Investigators had previously said they believed the plane left the lodge between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and that it was found sometime between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., based on preliminary information they'd received.

Four people, including former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe, were injured in the crash.

The report does not give a cause for the crash, and sheds no new light on weather conditions encountered by the pilot, who didn't file a flight plan and was relying on visual flight rules for what was supposed to have been a relatively short flight to a fishing camp.

Authorities have said that no transmitter signal was detected during an aerial search.

But state medical examiner Dr. Katherine Raven has said the injuries sustained by those who perished were "severe and fatal," and that a quicker response from rescuers probably wouldn't have made a difference.

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