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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Tom Brenner A small plane rests on live power lines after crashing last night.
# Power lines
Two people rescued from small plane caught in power lines in the US state of Maryland
Both men suffered “serious injuries” from the crash, and hypothermia was also an issue.

TWO PEOPLE HAVE been rescued from a small plane in the US state of Maryland, several hours after it crashed into power lines.

The two men were taken to hospital after the incident in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, which caused widespread power outages in the surrounding area.

The men, identified by Maryland State Police as pilot Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, DC, and passenger Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana, were rescued from the plane that was stuck about 100ft above the ground.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said the plane was secured to a pylon at 12.16am (5.16am Irish Time) and the first occupant was removed from the plane at 12.25am (5.25am Irish Time).

The second occupant was extricated at 12.36am (5.36am Irish time).

maryland-small-plane-crash Tom Brenner Tom Brenner

Both men suffered “serious injuries” from the crash, and hypothermia was also an issue, the fire chief said.

Both men were transported to local trauma centres with non-life threatening injuries, Goldstein added.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, New York, crashed into a power line tower near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg at around 5.40pm on Sunday.

The FAA identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.

Video footage showed a small white plane positioned with its nose up near a pylon. A local television station’s live video showed the plane remained stuck in the transmission tower after 8pm.

maryland-small-plane-crash Tom Brenner Tom Brenner

The utility firm Pepco had reported that about 120,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County. At the time of the rescue, most of the power had been restored to the county, outside of the crash site.

Goldstein said the next steps will be to secure the plane and remove it before the power lines will be restrung and reconnected.

The crash took place in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 24 miles north-west of Washington, DC.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.

Press Association


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