The pilot and passenger of a small plane were trapped after crashing into power lines in Maryland on Sunday, local officials said.
Rescue units were dispatched at 5:30 p.m. to reports of a small airplane that had flown into the power lines in Montgomery County, according to Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for Montgomery County (MD) Fire & Rescue Service.
When units arrived on the scene, they found a small plane suspended about 100 feet in the air that had struck the tower. The pilot and passenger survived and are OK, Piringer said.
Roughly 85,000 customers are without power following the crash, according to the Pepco utility company, which provides electric service to roughly 894,000 customers in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas in Maryland.
“We have confirmed that a private plane came into contact with Pepco’s transmission lines in Montgomery County, resulting in an outage to approximately 85,000 customers.” Pepco tweeted. “We are assessing damage and working closely with Montgomery County fire and emergency services.”
“We are awaiting clearance to the scene before crews can begin work to stabilize the electric infrastructure and begin restoring service,” the company added.
The fire department is in communication with the pilot and passenger, and roads are closed as crews come up with a rescue plan, according to Piringer.
The Federal Aviation Administration told CNN the plane is a single-engine Mooney that departed from Westchester County Airport in New York. The agency will investigate the incident along with the National Transportation Safety Board.
William Smouse, who lives about a mile from where the crash took place, told CNN affiliate WJLA on Sunday evening that he was going out to dinner with his son when he saw “two big flashes” and then multiple fire engines driving by.
“It’s unfortunate but I’m glad they are still up in there. We can see the light in the cockpit of the cell phone from the pilot, we did here that they called in to say they are OK,” Smouse said.
Smouse said the incident is “pretty scary” and that his house is located in an area where planes and jets often pass through.
“I think about it a lot, where they come in, and, literally, they are like 200 or 300 feet over us,” he said.