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Two People Rescued After Dangling From Plane Over Live Power Lines Following Crash in Maryland


An “extraordinary effort” on Sunday night saw the rescue of two people who were trapped and “dangled” from their small plane over a live power line in Maryland hours after The plane crashed and got tangled in power lines.

Maryland State Police confirmed the plane involved was a Mooney Mike 20P single-engine aircraft. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service chief spokesman Pete Piringer, who was at the scene, said the crash involving a passenger and a pilot occurred around 5:30 p.m., the units said. arrived at the scene and found the plane hovering about 100 feet in the air. He said the weather conditions were not ideal and that for some reason the plane collided with some electrical wires and eventually collided with a tower.

The crash was located about four miles northwest of Montgomery County Airport.

It took more than six hours to reach the pair safely, but by midnight the surrounding lines had been “disconnected” and authorities were able to safely reach the plane.

A fire brigade was able to make contact, bringing the plane into the tower at 12:16 a.m. By 12:25 a.m., the first man was down. Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said at a late-night news conference the second explosion occurred at 12:36 a.m.

Both were transported from the scene with serious injuries. The nature of trauma includes hypothermia and orthopedic trauma. The injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, but the injuries are “traumatic”.

The pilot has been identified as Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, DC. The passenger was Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana. For hours, the occupants of the car “suspended about 100 feet in the air” while “everything was still full of energy.

“They’re in a very precarious situation due to the fact that they’re dangling at about 100 feet,” Piringer said earlier.

When the rescue effort passed midnight, Piringer said the couple “can’t wait to get out of that plane. They have been very patient through all of this.”

Goldstein said in an update that authorities contacted the pair by phone, censoring regular check-in intervals to conserve battery life on their devices. Initially, the couple communicated through a 911 dispatcher who relayed messages, until authorities moved to contact them directly.

Roads in the area will continue to be closed as authorities try to come up with a plan to remove the plane.

Most of the electricity has been restored after tens of thousands of people lost power in the area, which power companies confirmed was due to the problem. Pepco said in a statement that up to 120,000 customers were affected.

“Our teams continue to work closely with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services in their efforts to assist emergency responders on the scene. Transmission lines are currently experiencing power outages,” the company said.

Just before midnight, Pepco said it was still on the scene and that “once the individuals were rescued, we were able to focus all our efforts on restoring power to our customers. We know how hard it is to be without power on this cold evening. We appreciate your support and patience.”

Along with homes, schools, hospitals and shopping malls, power outages also affect traffic lightssignal, elevator and Metro. Some schools will be closed on Monday due to widespread power outages.

Goldstein previously said safety concerns prevented teams from rescuing them.

One of the main problems, he said, is that there’s no other way to determine if access to the tower is safe until it’s grounded or “bonded” – meaning teams have to go on their own. wire and place clamps or cables on the power cord, to make sure there is no static or residual electricity.

“We are taking measured and risk-balanced steps to approach this activity and will do this in the way that we aim to get these people off the plane,” Goldstein said.

Witnesses described a terrifying scene on Sunday as the plane plunged to earth.

“I heard a crash and there was a flash and the power went out,” a witness, a county employee, posted on Twitter.

“I didn’t think about it until I saw a lot of priority patrol cars followed by lots of fire trucks. So, you know, I did what any off-duty 911 person does and texted a friend who was working.”

Police said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation into the cause and manner of the crash.

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