Plane caught in power line after crash, 2 occupants uninjured

Gaithersburg, Md. – A small plane carrying two people became stuck on power lines in Maryland Sunday night, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials worked to free the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane that had left White Plains, New York, crashed into power lines around 5:40 p.m. Sunday near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg. The FAA said two people were on board.

Pete Piringer, chief spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said on Twitter that the people on board were unharmed and that rescuers had been in contact with them. He once said in a video message that there were three people on the plane, but later clarified that there were two.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein told reporters that it would be until 9:30 p.m. or later before all the resources were in place to proceed with the rescue effort, but he gave no timeline for how long it would be after that. to bring the plane occupants down.

Goldstein said utility contractors will first work to ground the high-voltage cables so rescue workers can work safely. Firefighters will then use bucket trucks or a crane to stabilize the plane by chaining or strapping it to the tower. After the plane is more stable, Goldstein said, rescuers will use the crane or bucket truck to bring the two people down. He said rescuers regularly contact them by cell phone to check on them.

The FAA identified the aircraft as a Mooney M20J.

The video showed a small white aircraft positioned nose-up near a power tower. Live video from a local TV station showed the plane stuck in the transmission tower after 8 p.m

The plane became stuck about 100 feet (30 meters) off the ground and transmission lines remained live, complicating rescue efforts, Piringer said.

“Everything is still under power at the moment,” he said.

Utility company Pepco reported that about 80,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County. Piringer said many traffic lights were also out in the area. The utility said in a statement that its personnel are waiting for rescuers to clear them into the scene of the accident before making repairs at the crash site.

The crash occurred in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 39 kilometers northwest of Washington, DC

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Plane caught in power line after crash, 2 occupants uninjured

Sarah Y. Kim

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