Plane gets tangled in power lines after crashing into pylon trapping two people

Two people managed to escape after their small plane crashed into live power lines and became trapped 100ft above the ground for hours.

Pilot Patrick Merkle, 65, and passenger Jan Williams, 66, were rescued from the plane after it crashed in Maryland yesterday.

Both men, from Washington DC, and Louisiana respectively, were taken to hospital after the crash in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County.

It caused widespread power outages in the surrounding area affecting around 120,000 customers.

Both men on board suffered ‘serious injuries’ from the crash and hypothermia was also an issue, the local fire chief said.

They were taken to local trauma centres with non-life threatening injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, New York, crashed into a power line tower near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg at around 5.40pm local time on Sunday.

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Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said the plane was secured to a pylon at 12.16am (5.16am in the UK) and the first occupant was removed from the plane at 12.25am.

The second occupant was extricated about ten minutes later.

The FAA identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.

Video footage showed a small white plane positioned with its nose up near a pylon. A local television station’s live video showed the plane remained stuck in the transmission tower after 8pm.

The utility firm Pepco had reported that about 120,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County.

At the time of the rescue, most of the power had been restored to the county, outside of the crash site.

Mr Goldstein said the next steps will be to secure the plane and remove it before the power lines will be restrung and reconnected.

The crash took place in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 24 miles north-west of Washington, DC.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.

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