Maryland plane crash: 2 rescued after small plane caught in power lines

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Two people were rescued from a small plane that crashed and became caught in power lines Sunday evening in Montgomery County, Maryland, authorities said early Monday.

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According to The Associated Press, officials said crews extricated pilot Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C., and passenger Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana, from the Mooney M20J plane about 12:30 a.m. Monday. Both had serious injuries, the news agency reported.

Here are the latest updates:

2 rescued after small plane caught in power lines

Update 2:25 a.m. EST Nov. 28: Montgomery County fire Chief Scott Goldstein said the pilot and passenger, who had been stuck inside the plane about 100 feet off the ground, were seriously hurt, according to the AP. After the rescue, they were rushed to area trauma centers for treatment of their injuries, which were not life-threatening, Goldstein said.

As of midnight, service had been restored to most of the customers who lost power after the crash, the AP reported.

– Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Small plane caught between power lines after Maryland crash

Original report: A small plane crashed into power lines in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Sunday evening. Two people were on board and were not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Montgomery County officials said, per WRC-TV, that a single-engine Mooney M20J plane crashed into PEPCO electricity transmission wires in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

There were two people aboard the plane at the time of the crash, though they were not injured. WRC-TV said that the two are stuck in the plane.

Chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, Pete Piringer, on Twitter, according to The Associated Press, said that rescuers were in contact with the two people on the plane.

According to the AP, Maryland State Police identified the occupants on the plane. The pilot was identified as Patrick Merkle, 65, and the passenger was identified as Jan Williams, 66.

As of 11:30 p.m. EST, both occupants were still in the plane, according to the AP. Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said that there is no timetable to get get the plane and occupants down but expects it to take some time.

Piringer tweeted that the plane was headed toward Montgomery Airpark, which closed to air traffic following the crash.

According to the AP, the plane remained stuck in the transmission wires after 8 p.m. The plane was about 100 feet off the ground, and the transmission lines were live, which has made rescue efforts difficult.

PEPCO said that about 120,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County due to the crash, according to the AP.

According to WRC-TV, Montgomery County Public Schools said over about 40 schools and six central office facilities were without power due to the crash. It is not clear how the outage will affect their operations.

In a statement obtained by the AP, PEPCO said its personnel were waiting for rescuers to clear them to enter the scene before they could start making repairs.

The fire department is urging community members to stay clear of the area because it’s very dangerous, according to WRC-TV.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash, according to the AP. The cause of the crash has not been released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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