A small plane became trapped and entangled in live wires in Maryland following a crash into the powerlines.
The incident reportedly took place on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at about 5:40 pm local time. Two people were on the plane during the crash, and they were stuck in power lines for hours.
At about 9 pm, the police officials established contact with the two occupants of the plane. The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Services and other local emergency services in Maryland rescued the two individuals at 12.30 am, local time. The two have sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Visuals of the plane have also surfaced on social media platforms.
Small plane crashed and got entangled in live wires in Maryland
The single-engine plane, a Mooney Mike 20P, departed Westchester County Airport, New York, and was planning to descend towards Montgomery County Airpark in Maryland. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (aka FAA), the plane crashed while trying to make a descent.
After the crash, the plane was left dangling on the powerlines, about 100 ft above the ground, for several hours in Gaithersburg. This also resulted in a power outage for the locals for the entire evening, according to Pepco, a utility company in Maryland. The utility company has stated that they are assessing the damage and "contingency opportunities to restore service to impacted customers.”
The two people on the plane have been identified as 65-year-old Patrick Merkle and 66-year-old Jan Williams. The former was reportedly the pilot of the plane and is from Washington, D.C., while Williams is from Louisiana.
Rescue teams noted that both Williams and Merkle sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries during the crash but that they were suffering from hypothermia. They also sustained trauma and orthopedic injuries, and were taken to local trauma facilities.
Pete Piringer, the chief spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Services stated:
“The occupants of the plane are dangling about 100ft in the air and everything is still energized at this time.”
He further added that they were in a "very precarious situation" given that they were dangling nearly 1000 feet up.
Power outage shuts schools and offices down on Monday
Traffic on the road was halted by rescue authorities so Williams and Merkle could be brought down safely. A Hazmat team was also present to provide aid in the rescue process.
Due to a major power outage caused by the crash, Montgomery County Public Schools announced that on Monday, all schools and offices will stay shut.
Scott Goldstein, the fire chief of Montgomery County, said that there was no way to determine if it was safe to access the tower until the plane was grounded. He added that the crew had to go up to the wires to put clamps and cables onto the wires to make sure that there was no static electricity or residual power.
Several Maryland locals gathered to witness the entire rescue procedure. William Smouse, a nearby resident, spoke to CNN about the frequent passing of jets across the neighborhood. He described the incident to be “pretty scary”, and also said:
“I think about it a lot, where they come in, and, literally, they are like 200 or 300 feet over us."
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA have been investigating why and how the crash happened.