The pilot and passenger of a small plane were trapped after they collided with power lines in Maryland on Sunday, local officials said.
According to Pete Brinker, chief spokesman for Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Services, rescue units were dispatched at 5:30 pm to reports of a small plane flying over power lines in Montgomery County.
When units arrived on scene, they found a small plane suspended about 100 feet in the air that had struck the tower. The pilot and passenger survived and are doing well, Brinker said.
About 85,000 customers were without power following the crash, according to utility company Pepco, which provides electric service to about 894,000 customers in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas in Maryland.
“We have confirmed that a private aircraft came into contact with Pepco’s transmission lines in Montgomery County, resulting in an outage for approximately 85,000 customers.” Pepco tweeted. “We are assessing the damage and working closely with Montgomery County Fire and Emergency Services.”
“We are awaiting clearance for the scene to stabilize the electrical infrastructure and before crews begin work to restore service,” the company added.
Firefighters are in contact with the pilot and passengers, and roads are closed as crews come up with a rescue plan, Piringer said.
The single-engine Mooney plane took off from Westchester County Airport in New York, the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN. The agency will conduct an investigation into the incident along with the National Transportation Safety Board.
William Smouse, who lives about a mile from the crash site, told CNN affiliate WJLA Sunday evening that he was on his way to dinner with his son when he saw “two big flashes” and several fire engines running.
“It’s unfortunate, but I’m glad they’re still there. We could see the light in the cockpit of the cell phone from the pilot, and we did what they called here to say they were OK,” Smouse said.
Smouse said the incident was “very scary” and that his home is in an area frequented by airplanes and jets.
“I think about it a lot, where they’re coming from, and really, they’re like 200 or 300 feet ahead of us,” he said.
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