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Photos: Md. providers rescue 2 people trapped for hours in plane dangling from electrical tower

The single-engine aircraft was ensnared about 100 feet off the ground, and the rescuers used a crane


Photo/IAFF Local 1664 Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters

By Brendan Rascius
The Charlotte Observer

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — A small plane slammed into a power line tower in Maryland over the holiday weekend, injuring two and leaving nearby residents without electricity, officials said.

The crash, which left the single-engine plane entangled in the tower, occurred about 25 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., shortly after sunset on Nov. 27, according to a news release from the Maryland State Police.

The aircraft was ensnared about 100 feet off the ground, according to a statement from the Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association.

The only two occupants were a male pilot from Washington, D.C., and a passenger from Louisiana, according to state police. Both are 66 years old.

The pair, who were suspended in the air for hours, were rescued around midnight by EMS personnel operating a truck equipped with a crane, according to police. Once safely on the ground, they were brought to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Several agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the Maryland State Police, are investigating the incident, police said. There are no signs of criminal activity.

The collision damaged power lines, resulting in outages for about 85,000 people, according to a Nov. 27 statement from Pepco, a utility company.

Montgomery County Public Schools said that its schools would be closed on account of the outages, according to NBC Washington.

By the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 28, power had been restored to everyone affected by the collision, according to Pepco.

Though aircraft accidents are rare, they are far more likely to occur in non-commercial planes.

“Over the past 20 years, charter and private aircraft have a far greater probability of crashing over commercial airliners – 9.4 times and 32.9 times, respectively,” according to risk management research from Harvard University.

Several other small aircraft collisions involving power lines occurred in the last year, including one in New Hampshire and one in California that left four dead.


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