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Ebersol survives plane crash

NBC Sports czar injured in accident

MONTROSE, Colo. — NBC Sports chairman and president Dick Ebersol survived a charter plane crash that killed at least two people Sunday, NBC said in a statement through its Denver affiliate KUSA.

Montrose County sheriff’s officials said three survivors, including Ebersol, were seriously injured when the jet crashed through a fence and burst into flames at Montrose Regional Airport, which serves the Telluride Ski Area.

The plane was on its way to South Bend, Ind.

The network said the pilot and co-pilot were killed. Rescuers were searching for a sixth person listed on the plane’s manifest whose seat from the craft was missing from the wreckage.

Linda McCool, a nursing supervisor at Montrose Memorial Hospital, said three men were brought to the hospital after the crash but had all been transferred to other hospitals by Sunday afternoon. McCool would not release where or how they were transported or what condition they were in.

Identities of other victims were not immediately released, pending notification of relatives, but KUSA said Ebersol’s wife, actress Susan St. James, was not on the plane.

Authorities were searching for the missing person in rugged terrain by helicopter and on the ground.

The crash occurred in an area covered with small brush and cedar trees, sheriff’s communications supervisor David Learned said.

It was snowing in the area, but regional Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said he did not know if that was a factor. The National Weather Service had forecast up to two feet of snow by afternoon in the area.

Ebersol became president of NBC Sports in 1989, running a network division that has dwindled down to just the Olympics and smaller events like Wimbledon tennis and professional golf. Last summer’s Olympics in Athens proved to be very successful for NBC and for Ebersol, a protege of Roone Arledge, the former ABC sports exec who pioneered modern Olympics coverage.

Ebersol also worked as an NBC entertainment executive. In the early 1980s, he became executive producer of “Saturday Night Live” when Lorne Michaels left.

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