2 trapped after small plane crashes into Maryland power lines, thousands left in the dark

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (7News) — A pilot and passenger are stuck in a small plane after it crashed into a Pepco tower and power lines Sunday evening near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md. (Pete Piringer @mcfrsPIO)

Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md

The plane was left dangling about 100 feet in the air, according to Pete Piringer with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. The occupants of the plane are not injured, Piringer said.

Crews are now conducting a high-angle rescue response, Piringer said. Officials say it could take several hours before the people are freed from the plane.

Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md. (Pete Piringer @mcfrsPIO)

Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md



Maryland State Police identified the pilot as Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C. The passenger is identified as Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana.

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Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md



The area must be stabilized before crews work to restore service.

Outages are also impacting traffic lights and even Metrorail service.



Officials are asking that people stay away from the area of Goshen Road and Rothbury Drive.

Despite warnings about the dangers of live wires in the area, a crowd of onlookers is at the scene, watching the rescue.

According to the FAA, a single-engine Mooney M20J departed from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York and crashed in Gaithersburg at about 5:40 p.m.The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.


Two trapped as small plane crashes into power lines in Md.



The FAA issued this statement:

This information is preliminary and subject to change.

A single-engine Mooney M20J crashed into wires near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Md., around 5:40 p.m. local time today. Two people were on board. The aircraft departed from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.

The registration number is N201RF. You can look up the aircraft by its registration number on this webpage.

Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.



If you are experiencing an outage, please report it at http://pepco.com/outage or our mobile app, or by texting OUT to 48710.

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