Crew members work to rescue two people on a plane entangled in power lines

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — A small plane carrying two people hit a power line in Maryland on Sunday night and caused extensive damage in surrounding counties as authorities worked to rescue the plane and its crew. A power outage occurred.

In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said a single-engine plane departing from White Plains, New York, struck a power pylon near Montgomery County Airport in Gaithersburg at about 5:40 p.m. said it was gone. Above ground (30 meters). Two people were on board, the FAA said.

Pete Pillinger, chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said on Twitter that crew members identified by the Maryland State Police as Washington DC pilot Patrick Markle, 65, and Louisiana passenger Jean Williams, 66, were injured. rescuers were in contact with them. He had at one point stated in a video message that there were three people on the plane, but he later revealed there were two.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein told reporters it would take until after 9:30 p.m. did not disclose the time of under.

The utility contractor plans to ground the high-voltage lines first to allow rescuers to work safely, Goldstein said. The fire brigade uses bucket trucks or cranes to stabilize the plane by securing it to the tower with chains or straps. After the plane becomes more stable, rescuers will use a crane or bucket his truck to unload the two, Goldstein said. He said rescuers are in regular contact by cell phone to check on them.

The FAA has identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.

The video showed a small white plane nose-up near the power tower.Live video from a local TV station showed the plane remained stranded on a transmission tower after 8 p.m.

Power lines remained operational, making rescue efforts difficult, Pillinger said.

“At the moment, everything is still vibrant,” he said.

Power company Pepco reported power outages to about 120,000 customers in Montgomery County. Piringer said many traffic lights have also gone out in the area. In a statement, the power company said its personnel were waiting to allow rescuers to enter the crash site before making repairs at the crash site.

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

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