Hawaii Sens. Akaka, Inouye mourn passing of ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's two Democratic U.S. senators are adding their voices to those mourning the death of former Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

The 86-year-old Stevens died Monday along with four other people when their plane crashed into an Alaska mountainside.

Four people were injured.

Sen. Daniel Akaka says the country has lost "a great American." He called Stevens "a friend of Hawaii," who understood the nation's responsibility to its indigenous people.

And Sen. Daniel Inouye says he has lost his brother.

Inouye called Stevens his best friend in the Senate, and said their friendship was "a very special one."

Inouye says he and Stevens worked together to ensure the noncontiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska weren't forgotten by the lower 48.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.