Plane Dangled From Power Line for Hours With 2 Trapped Inside

Pilot, passenger have been rescued
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2022 12:07 AM CST
Updated Nov 28, 2022 5:55 AM CST
2 People Trapped Inside Plane Dangling From Maryland Power Lines
A small plane rests on live power lines after crashing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Montgomery Village, a northern suburb of Gaithersburg, Md.   (AP Photo/Tom Brenner)
UPDATE Nov 28, 2022 5:55 AM CST

The pilot and passenger trapped for hours after a plane crashed into Maryland power lines Sunday were rescued early Monday. While they were initially reported to have been unharmed before they'd been extricated from the plane, CNN reports both were hospitalized with serious injuries including orthopedic and trauma injuries from the crash as well as hypothermia.

Nov 28, 2022 12:07 AM CST

A rescue effort was underway late Sunday for two people trapped in a small plane dangling about 100 feet off the ground after it crashed into power lines in Montgomery County, Maryland. The plane departed from New York's Westchester County, en route to an airport in Gaithersburg, which is where it crashed into a tower connected to high-voltage Pepco lines around 5:30pm Sunday, Bethesda Magazine reports. The power company said as many as 120,000 customers were without power as a result of the crash, but the rescue effort would be completed before the company works on restoring power, WTOP reports.

The plane's pilot, 65-year-old Patrick Merkle of Washington, DC, and passenger, 66-year-old Jan Williams of Louisiana, were in contact with authorities, and no injuries had been reported. Authorities advised them to monitor their cellphone batteries so authorities can continue contacting them. The plan was for Pepco to ground any residual electricity still in the tower and nearby area, hopefully by 1:30am local time Monday, then secure the plane completely so it does not move around during the rescue effort, with cranes or bucket trucks likely involved. Pepco was providing updates via Twitter. (More Maryland stories.)

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