Maryland : The pilot and a passenger got trapped inside after the plane crashed into power lines on Sunday. Local officials reported that rescue operations are underway.
Pete Piringer, the chief spokesperson for Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Service said that the rescue units were dispatched at half past five in the evening, immediately after receiving the news of a small plane flying into the power lines of Montgomery County.
The units arriving at the scene were able to find a small plane suspended around 100 feet above the ground level struck on the tower. Piringer said that the pilot and passenger have survived and that they are fine. He further said that the nearby roads are closed and the fire department is attempting to maintain contact with the pilot and the passenger.
Chief Scott Goldstein, the chief of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said that there is no way to determine if it’s safe to access the tower until it is grounded or bonded. He was answering questions at a news conference on Sunday evening. He continued that this involves crews ascending to put clamps or cables onto the wires to make sure there is no static electricity or residual power.
Things are getting complicated because the airplane is not secured to the tower structure and foggy weather conditions in the area are adding to it by challenging visibility. He added that the plane is not going to be stable until it is chained and strapped in a place and that any accidental movement could make the circumstance even worse.
The videos that were surfacing portraying the rescue operations on late Sunday evening, showed utility buckets near the plane.
Goldstein updated that the department is regularly checking in with the plane occupants and moderating the use of their cell phones to conserve the battery percentages. He went on that crews will work to bring the occupants of the plane out and down to the ground and transport them to area hospitals. This could only be done when it is not dangerous to access the tower to get to the plane.
According to the Pepco utility company, it could be estimated that on a rough scale 12,000 customers are struggling due to the absence of power. Pepco utility company is the supplier of electricity to about 894,000 users in Washington, DC, and other areas nearby Maryland. Montgomery County is located to the north of Washington, DC.
Pepco took to their official Twitter handle and tweeted that they are confirming that a private plane came into contact with their transmission lines in Montgomery County and also that they are assessing damage and working closely with Montgomery County fire and emergency services.
Pepco added that they are awaiting clearance to the scene before crews can begin work to stabilize the electric infrastructure and begin restoring service.
The district officials informed on Sunday night that the schools of Montgomery County would be closed on Monday considering the power outage. In an earlier report, the district officials had confirmed that above 40 schools in the Montgomery County Public School system and six central offices were without power and that in turn is affecting the maintenance, bus, and food services.
Holy Cross Hospital, and MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, two hospitals in the area are also facing the challenge of operating with limited capacity.
Goldstein said that they are taking measured and risk-balanced steps to approach the activity and reported that resources from Pepco’s contractor have arrived at the scene and that a large crane has been sent by a local company to assist the operation.
Federal Aviation Administration officials and officers from Maryland State Police had arrived at the spot on Sunday night.
The Federal Aviation Administration in a response to news reporters said that the crashed plane is a Mooney with the single-engine which took off from the Westchester County Airport in New York. The agency is to look into the incident co–operating with the National Transportation Safety Board.
William Smouse, a local resident said that he saw big flashes in the sky and heard multiple fire engines approaching. He said that the accident concerns him because he and his family are living in that area which happens to be on the air route of multiple planes as well as jets.