About 30 miles north of Washington, D.C., a small plane crashed into high-voltage power lines on Sunday, creating widespread disruptions and requiring rescuers to work through the night to free two occupants who were still trapped in the cables.
According to the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, the plane crashed in Montgomery Village, Maryland, at around 5.30 p.m. (2230 GMT) in foggy and wet weather. About 100 feet above the earth, it got entangled in live electrical cables.
Over 120,000 consumers lost power as a result of the impact, according to Pepco, a utility provider serving the Washington, DC, area. There were also many blocked roads and broken traffic lights in the neighbourhood.
Fire officials reported that two people were still alive inside the aircraft.
According to Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein, rescue workers were in touch with the occupants by calling their cell phones frequently. The only thing he would say about the state of the passengers on the plane was that ‘we have been in contact with them.’
Crews must climb up to the wires themselves to attach clamps and cables to the wires to ensure there is no static electricity or ‘stray’ power because there is no other way to determine whether it is safe to access the tower until it is grounded, according to Goldstein, who spoke to reporters.
Before the passengers can be taken out, the plane must first be fastened to the electrical tower, according to Goldstein. In addition to electrical tower specialists who will man large tower bucket trucks, he claimed that an ‘extraordinarily large crane’ provided by a nearby business was already on the scene.