Photos: Montgomery County Fire andamp; Rescue ServiceA Mooney M20J single-engine plane crashed into powerlines near Gaithersburg, Maryland on Nov. 27. The pilot and a passenger were suspended 100 feet in the air.Chief Spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire andamp; Rescue Service Pete Piringer tweeted updates as nearly 100,000 people and businesses in the county lost power. Crews worked to rescue the plane occupants safely and restore power to the community. Maryland State Police said the crash occurred in the evening involving a plane that had departed from Westchester County Airport (HPN) and hit power lines about four miles northwest of the Montgomery County Airpark (GAI).Piringer said the weather conditions were not ideal, as rain and fog decreased visibility. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash with assistance from Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division.
Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said there were several ongoing concerns. There was a large power outage across the county but there was no way to access the power and wire to ensure there is no residual power or static electricity until the aircraft had been grounded. Steps were made to assess the risk to the occupants inside the plane as well as the surrounding community.
Pilot and passenger communicated with the authorities until they were safely removed and transported to the hospital with hypothermia and non-life-threatening injuries.
The power outage impacted the DC Metro, causing delays on the red line until Monday morning. MCPS Schools and child care providers as well as Montgomery College were closed to ensure the power outage had not impacted necessities like heat and water. Pepco energy company tweeted that they were working to stabilize the energy infrastructure at the scene and performing an assessment before starting repairs and power was mostly restored by the morning.
Power has been restored or rerouted to the affected areas until the damage can be fixed.