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After the crash, the plane caught power lines, two people were not injured

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday night in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in a surrounding county as officials worked to free the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which took off from White Plains, New York, struck power lines near the Montgomery County Air Park in Gaithersburg around 5:40 p.m. Sunday. The FAA said there were two people on board.

Pete Piringer, chief spokesman for Montgomery County Fire-Rescue, said on Twitter that no one on board was injured and that rescuers were contacting them. He once said in a video message that there were three people on the plane, but later clarified that it was two.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein told reporters it would take until 9:30 p.m. or later for all resources to be ready for rescue efforts, but he did not give a timetable for how long after that it would take to get the plane’s passengers out. down.

Goldstein said utility contractors will first work to ground the high-voltage wires to make it safe for rescue workers to work. Fire crews will then use bucket trucks or a crane to stabilize the aircraft by chaining or strapping it to the tower. Once the plane is more stable, Goldstein said, rescuers will use a crane or bucket trucks to remove the two people. According to him, rescuers periodically contact them by mobile phone to check their condition.

The FAA identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.

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

The plane was stuck about 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground and power lines remained live, complicating rescue efforts, Piringer said.

“It’s still tense at this time,” he said.

Pepco said about 80,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County. Piringer said many traffic lights are also down in the area. The utility said in a statement that its personnel were waiting for emergency responders to arrive at the scene before they could make repairs at the scene.

The crash happened in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 24 miles (39 kilometers) northwest of Washington, DC.

The reasons for the crash were not clear. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.


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