GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials tried to extricate the aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, N.Y., crashed into the power lines near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg around 5:40 p.m. Sunday. The FAA said two people were aboard.
Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, said on Twitter that the people on board are uninjured and that rescuers had been in contact with them. He had at one point said in a video message that three people were on the plane but later clarified that it was two.
The FAA identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.
The video showed a small white plane positioned nose up near a power tower. A local television station's live video showed the plane remained stuck in the transmission tower after 8 p.m.
The plane was stuck about 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground, and the transmission lines remained live, complicating rescue efforts, Piringer said.
“Everything is still energized at this time," he said.
The utility Pepco reported that about 80,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County. Piringer said that many traffic lights were also out in the area. The utility said in a statement that its personnel were waiting for rescuers to clear them to enter the scene before they can make repairs at the site of the crash.
The crash took place in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 24 miles (39 kilometers) northwest of Washington, D.C.
The cause of the crash wasn't immediately clear. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.