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Small plane crashes into power lines, trapping 2, knocking out electricity in Montgomery County – WBAL TV Baltimore

Small plane crashes into power lines, trapping 2, knocking out electricity in Montgomery County

2 occupants stuck for hours inside plane dangling from 100 feet up

Sorry, thank you all for coming. Coming back to the scene *** lot has changed since we were here last talking about one o’clock this morning. Um, and we want to provide you an update on on the operation since we were here last uh joined with MS cooper from Pepco as well as Captain Garcia from MSP uh County Executive L Riches is planning to arrive and join us as we were going through this press conference. So while we were here last at one o’clock talking, there was *** meeting occurring at the same time that was planning the next steps of stabilizing the aircraft as well as the tower. That plan took effect. Some of your folks were here and roughly 3:30 just before 4:00 this morning. The plane and the the engine or all of the plane was removed from the tower. The steps which incurred there is they stabilize the plane by the crane then segment at the plane and the engine from as two pieces lowered the plane to the ground, then transition to lowering the engine to the ground. The captain from MSP will be able to talk about the plane the next steps in the investigative process. So just at that four o’clock hours when fire rescue departed the scene in conjunction with Pepco and *** UI. There was no longer *** desire and *** need for any fire rescue resources on scene updating to the activities that occurred last night. As you know, we have two people that were transported to *** local trauma center. Both of those folks. The condition has improved one is still in the hospital and that’s all the information that I have on, on the two occupants that were in the plane. I can’t say which one. So as we talked about it was extrication complete of both folks from the aircraft at 12 30 in the morning, which was right at about eight hours from the time of the original uh strike of the tower at 5 30. and then again, just before four a.m. Three hours later the aircraft was removed from, from the tower seven hours, seven hours was 5 30 to 11 30 which was when the grounding grounding was completed. And then between 11 30 I’m gonna say double 0 25 double oh 36 is when the two people got out of the plane. So eight hours both were on the ground from the original strike. I’ll get to you in *** second sir. No problem, no problem. Um I wanted to to reiterate that the resources were here for the safety of the occupants in the aircraft. The safety of the utility workers working on site, safety of the fire rescue personnel here. That was, it is complicated by the high voltage power that’s being transmitted or was, you know, part of this transmission system. And what is the concern as I outlined, the static or residual electricity that is present in that system and can only be verified safe by the relation of grounding um uh support. So that’s what was part of our plan, part of our operations and why we took very deliberate and, and and time consuming steps to to effect the rescue and the removal of those two folks as well as remember from the beginning until the extrication we were in constant contact, I used constant to outline that we were in reoccurring and consistent contact As outlined earlier. We purposely segmented that into *** roughly 30 minute time blocks where we would call and touch base with the folks in the aircraft to conserve battery. But that was *** continual process as we were talking to the to folks in the airplane to give them reassurance as well as touch based on their status, their condition the process this cooper will talk about our coordination and how that was critical and the steps and if we could go through the updates from Pepco as well as MSP and then we’ll touch base with questions and I’ll start with you sir. Okay? We’ll touch through that after MS cooper finishes Okay? Thank you very much. Chief Goldstein, on behalf of Pepco. We want to thank the emergency responders starting with fire and rescue services for the partnership and the coordination in order for us to be able to support them and securely bringing out the individuals who were in that aircraft. I wanted to acknowledge also our crews as well as *** Ui our contractor who worked seamlessly throughout this process and over the evening. One of the things I wanted to highlight as well is to thank our customers for their patience as we work to restore service. One of the things that we had to do in this process and this was highlighted by the chief was make certain that this zone was safe as well as secure that took grounding to ensure that there was no residual power de energizing the actual power source within the area as well. We want to reach out also to acknowledge the team and the families who were impacted by this and hoping that they have *** speedy recovery. I wanted to go back *** little bit. This event occurred around 5:30 yesterday afternoon We worked in coordination to ensure that this area was safe. We restored service to all customers by around 11.58 p.m. last night and we were able to do that based on the configuration of our system. So we have redundancy built into our system. So we have to ensure that these lines were de energized but we were able to simultaneously restore service to those theaters that were providing service to other customers. So I wanted to again reiterate that this was *** very challenging experience that we worked collaboratively with the county, wanted to recognize the county executive Mark L. Rich as well and wanting to recognize again the fire and rescue services and our emergency response team as well as crews. So thank you. Good afternoon. I’m Captain Freddy Garcia, the Maryland state Police at this stage. Our responsibility now is to continue to support the investigation of the NTSB, the National Traffic Safety Board, uh, as they have assigned an agent to respond. Uh, once they’re here, they will be looking at the aircraft before it’s moved. We’re hoping to open the road sometime this evening, uh, to include coordinations of moving the remaining parts of the aircraft. At this time, we don’t have *** true estimate, but we’re working uh, with all the agencies to again open the roadway as soon as possible and we want to do that safely. And we also want to remove the aircraft, but only after it’s been inspected by the NTSB and we will be staying here until that is completed. Thank you. Let me touch base with *** couple of elements of geography and reference. Um, and then be opening for questions. There are two towers here. There’s two parallel systems operating here in this right away. It’s identified as the north tower in the south tower. The north tower is closest to us as we stand here, technically closer to close to Mcdonald’s. The south tower sits behind that as, as you ask sir. The aircraft did strike the power lines of the north tower before it then collided with and became embedded in the structure of the south tower, as the image behind us identifies the crew is working now on the north tower. Re stringing power lines there, you may be able to see the lines hanging down as *** part of the north tower. Those were struck and severed by the aircraft in that collision. So it struck the lines of the north tower and then became embedded in the south tower. Now open up for questions this, this is very basic and everybody. How did you figure out how to do this? Inspiration invention? It seems my So as as MS cooper outlined its coordination, it’s pre planning, its pre dialogue. You, you create relationships and partnerships with Pepco as well as all the law enforcement agencies to have uh, that occurring prior to any disaster when you have this event and you communicate, you know, there was multiple calls pertaining to an aircraft in this area. Originally Montgomery village and shadow of which is *** little bit away from here. When you do arrive and find an aircraft, you know, little little aircraft but anything is still an aircraft embedded in the tower. It’s, it’s quite complex. You start through the capabilities, question of safety of that stray electricity followed by the safety of the structure. As Pepco folks were arriving, they were providing us the initial and kept building upon that data set that the tower could not be being safe to engage with until it was bonded and grounded. Then once that was complete, *** preferred method of access would be by crane, not by climbing the tower. That was then fed into the action plan early on into the incident, we made contact with the local resource, the crane company and had additional crane resources here to assist Tepco and *** Ui. So it’s building information. Taking that, inject all of the parts together. You just can’t walk up and take an assessment off, has that power pole stable? So it’s all partnership and adding those inject. So I’ll start here and I’ll go You already cost in contact with the folks inside the plane the entire time you describe what it was like for those two as they were going there for hours. So when we first started the contact there was *** 911 call taker at the Quince Orchard facility who stayed on the line with the folks in the aircraft for an extended period of time. And and we then started relaying messages through her to the two state to the folks inside the aircraft. Then at *** point we transitioned that too, we called the aircraft occupants directly and began that dialogue again, we segmented that to periodic updates. What was it like? They were anxious. They were concerned about the stability of the aircraft, the stability of the aircraft remaining in the tower structure. They were, you know, disoriented, disappointed to the severity of or the complexity of the circumstances. So as all of our call takers do work on reassuring them, providing them frequent updates, establishing *** dialogue with them so that you’re exchanging information. Additionally, that begins our medical assessment process. We started asking questions about their medical conditions, doing everything we would do face to face with the patient but via the telephone and then Beginning to provide them reassurance as we had information. So there was one chief officer on site that got that assignment and he stepped with that assignment until the end at 12:30 when they were both on the ground. That it was very cold, very cold. Hypothermia was *** concern as I outlined earlier and and indeed they had orthopedic injuries, traumatic injuries and then the environmental concerns from from the event from the position. How were the position they were they like this so that they were facing down facing up. So paul it’s going to be more practical to say that the nose of the aircraft was up, The tail of the aircraft was down and broken and bending down more dish more than the nose was. But as as you outlined and the other question relates to their positioning in the aircraft did also impact their comfort as well as their medical condition. So that was was limited because you can’t just really move around inside the aircraft. They weren’t upside down from what I know but they were unable to move around *** lot in the aircraft. Can I pause for *** second transition to Mr L. Rich if you wish. So and then we’ll come back to questions. Okay, so I just wanted to, first of all, thank everybody who’s involved in this. This is not anybody’s manual. Um I guess this will be *** chapter in some new manual, but it’s not something anybody was prepared for. Uh and I wanted to thank, you know, Pepco, the airport folks, our police and fire and rescue and the cooperation from the FAA to be successful in getting people out of the airplane and then getting the plane out of there. This could have been *** whole lot worse. Um It would have been, you know, that plane could have kept flying disabled by clipping wires and not being able be controlled. So if it was going to stop someplace, that was probably the best place for it to stop. Um I’m just really glad that people were able to respond this quickly. I want to thank you, especially for getting everybody’s power to go from 120,000 people without power to very quickly have everybody getting their power back. It may have seemed like *** long time for some people, but I know we were thinking this would be *** very long time potentially to get power back and that didn’t pan out. And the good thing is it should the redundancy in the system because that meant that they had to route the electricity and otherwise we have been coming from here. They had to get it to all those homes and businesses another way, which tells you we’ve got some resiliency built in to the system here. So I’m just really happy that you know, this hasn’t been *** tragedy and that you know, it’s been manageable and that we all were able to put the resources together to get it done reasonably quickly. No, I’m in the far southern end of the county. I would think you’re *** whole lot lucky. I mean hitting *** tower and 80 to 100 miles an hour or something like that and then not being able to go forward anymore and come to *** sudden stop. Ask yourself what it would be like in *** car to hit *** wall at 8200 miles an hour I’d say pretty lucky. You know, next week is the ninth anniversary of the crash that killed the mother of two Children at that time. We had *** lot of residents tell us at the time they were concerned about the operations of the airport. They’ve said they would like to have seen nine years ago. There were questions to ask how the executive moving forward that you’re going to ask if you want to know about in regards to the operations of the. Well, ironically we have *** fresh report that we have that we’re gonna be looking at. I’d say that my first question is, was this thing, even on the flight path and if it wasn’t on the flight path, why wasn’t it on the flight path because it was too low from what I heard from where it should have been in the approach and obviously didn’t know there were wires and *** hole here. That’s the tower. Um That to me is the problem. So I want to know how that’s how that even got to that point. Has anybody heard anything from the pilot like oh I was lost in fob or an altimeter was out or anything at all, anybody addressed that? Right. Very experienced pilots like flies in and out of here every other day. No specific information was relayed about his reporting or his information on that. I don’t have that information. So the weather condition as I was told by the FAA. Representative here on site was was beginning fog or *** cloud layer that has changed over the day. So the cloud layer was set to be at *** certain level but then it transitioned or became *** lower level as the day progressed. Um But he was in *** instrument based approach and an aircraft for you know, G Ai or Gaithersburg Airport. Yeah, I the last great no ma’am not, we don’t have any uh incidents or anything that we’ve ever investigated in here or looked into *** regarding flying or anything of that nature. That would probably be the executive to answer that question as I understand that the f *** *** pretty much calls all the shots on this. Um but we will be talking about you know, if they call all the shots and they’re responsible for why *** person was where they were at this time, they’re supposed to be on. If they’re on an automated approach, I want to know what their responses to this. Was he trying to land at the airport that we know? So that was the original flight path as that. That was the original flight plan as filed was the location in new york to work. That is correct. And I wanted to ask another question about this. There was *** period that we caught on video where the pilot was actually trying to climb down at this point. So can you talk to us about that? And did you try and talk him out of it? What what what what did your people do? So absolutely, we we were using binoculars and other vision assistance from the ground. We could see him reaching out the window of the aircraft know based on the best knowledge that I had in our dialogue with him, he never got out of the aircraft. He was in contact with the structure or the galvanized metal of the aircraft, but we did communicate with him how that was *** excessive risk. That was not needed staying in the aircraft was *** better location to be. Um but anybody who’s in *** circumstance like that may be thinking that you know getting out is is better than than staying where they are. And I can understand part of that consideration your emotions around all this. I mean, like how do you feel knowing that this was *** good outcome and the survivors were not all that hurt. So it’s absolutely our goal is to protect lives and property and this is protecting the life. *** lot of work was put in place as I said to to do this as safely as possible and as rapidly as possible for all of the folks that were on the ground and the two folks that were in the, in the air and to do that and to have them assist us. Getting out of the aircraft is *** great benefit to do that with the opportunity now that we have information that one has already been discharged and one is in *** stable condition. That is definitely *** benefit and I appreciate, you know, everything that came together to help for that day. Let me jump over here for *** second. Let me contact with the pilot said every 30 minutes or so. Did you ever mention at any point any kind of mechanical issue, any kind of no, no information that was relayed on to me. I mean, I’m sure responded to plenty of small aircraft crashes in your career to come onto *** small aircraft crash like this and see two people alive and to know that right away. What initially went through your head, what was the thought of, how do you eat this elephant and you eat it one bite at *** time and you have the elephant here is the aircraft, the power, the pole and the height and and how you address that. So you you do that one bite at *** time. And as we talked about, you take that incrementally to that point where you scared, you look through the processes and and you hope your capability matches the event, the event dynamics. And we got to *** positive outcome. Thank God. But could you tell us, how was it that they were not? Right. So, so ultimately, when they came into contact with the actual infrastructure, which was ultimately that plane ended up impacting the south tower. It was my understanding that the propellers came into contact with the wires, but immediately went into the actual structure. So they were not imp the actual lines where that plane was actually sitting and we were able to immediately take actions to de energize again, that particular area as well as the power lines that were coming into the area and to ground to ensure that we did not have any residual power Well as well, the lines of the north tower, they did not knock out the lines, they ended up landing into the actual south tower connected between the wire and the tower that could have been in Right, but it did not and we’re still evaluating and assessing all of these particular aspects of it as well was restored at 11:58 pm for everyone. We are constantly in the process of assessing because you have to do damage assessment that’s taking place as work is ultimately progressing. So there may be some damage to that particular structure. We’re evaluating that and taking the steps in real time. We have already made repairs to the south tower and we’re currently working on the north tower presently as well, you have to meet your, you know, it’s been *** busy market. You’re driving us apart. So you’re absolutely right and thank you because each one of these incidents is an emotional impact to our responders. You you come to work every day with the intent and the purpose of helping others in *** time of need some days that maybe *** person who falls off *** bike, somebody that maybe *** person who cuts their fingers some days that maybe *** plane plane crash. You you you take that we have great resources within the county of behavioral health and mental health support, um resources doctors and peer support folks and those are made available to any and all that need them. One of the things that was also brought to the scene last night was county health and human services, um mobile crisis team to assist with the residents and the civilians on scene. So *** lot of resources from all of county government. We’re here and this time of year is always an additional impact to all responders because it is is taxing when you have these emergencies in *** holiday period. But I appreciate your, your thought and, and yes, my, my appreciation to each and every one of our folks here.

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Small plane crashes into power lines, trapping 2, knocking out electricity in Montgomery County

2 occupants stuck for hours inside plane dangling from 100 feet up

Crews rescued two occupants of a small plane that crashed Sunday evening into a power line tower, knocking out power across Montgomery County.Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said the plane came into contact around 5:30 p.m. with a high-tension power line tower in the area of Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road in the Montgomery Village area, which is about 4 miles northwest of the Montgomery County Airpark.Crews grounded the power lines, secured the plane and were able to rescue the occupants more than seven hours after the crash.According to Maryland State Police, the aircraft involved is a Mooney Mike 20P single-engine plane.RESCUE EFFORTSAt 9 p.m., Goldstein said officials were in communication with the plane’s two occupants. But before crews could rescue the occupants, workers had to go up to the wires to perform grounding and bonding and secure the plane to the tower.At 10 p.m., Goldstein said tower company crews arrived with bucket trucks and a large crane and additional resources were brought to the scene.The fire chief said the tower was no longer electrified; however, concerns remain over static or stray electricity, which is why crews were working on grounding and bonding the tower.Goldstein said the plane was secured at 12:16 a.m., the first occupant was rescued at 12:25 a.m. and the second patient was rescued at 12:36 a.m., both brought to the ground via bucket truck.State police said the occupants were taken to Suburban Hospital. Both suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries that included hypothermia, Goldstein said.In an update Monday afternoon, the fire chief said one of the occupants has since been released from the hospital.POWER OUTAGESAs of 6 p.m. Sunday, Potomac Electric Power Co. reported as many as 146 outages affecting more than 88,000 customers, mostly across the upcounty from Rockville and Gaithersburg to Damascus and Olney.By 9 p.m., the number of customers without power dropped to 76,158. But by 10 p.m., the number increased to 120,582. At 11 p.m., the number reduced to 96,506, and it further dropped to 34,688 by 11:45 p.m.Power was restored to all but some 130 customers by early Monday morning. PEPCO Region President Donna Cooper said Monday that power was mostly restored to customers minutes before midnight Sunday.Goldstein said the county’s Emergency Operations Center opened to coordinate the emergency responses across the county.Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said power outages affected traffic signals, electricity service and some elevators.PEPCO tweeted around 1:30 a.m.: “We are continuing to stabilize the energy infrastructure at the scene and are performing a full assessment of damage before beginning repairs. Thank you to our customers in Montgomery County for your understanding and good wishes for a safe outcome. “We are pleased to have assisted @MCFRS and other local emergency personnel on the effort to safely rescue the individuals who were stranded in the airplane. We have restored electric service for all customers who were impacted by tonight’s incident.”Anyone experiencing an outage is asked to report it at pepco.com/outage, PEPCO’s mobile app or by texting “OUT” to 48710.SCHOOLS CLOSED MONDAYMontgomery County Public Schools and offices will be closed Monday. All Montgomery College campuses and locations will also be closed Monday.TRANSITThe Washington Area Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said the power outage is affecting the Red Line from Shady Grove to Grosvenor-Strathmore and Glenmont to Silver Spring. Shuttle buses were made available at Wheaton.The Maryland Transit Administration said MARC’s Brunswick Line trains may experience 20-30 minute delays Monday morning between Gaithersburg and Silver Spring, saying the outage has resulted in interruptions to CSX signals and switching equipment, causing trains to significantly reduce speeds.Additionally, many stations will be without power Monday. While trains will continue to stop at stations as scheduled, the power interruption means station door locks will not work, ticket machines and restrooms will not be accessible, and PA/LED systems will not function.The on-board ticket surcharge will be waived for all stations east of and including Germantown. Passengers are reminded that tickets can be purchased on the train with cash only, no credit or debit cards are accepted. Passengers can also download the CharmPass app to purchase tickets on a mobile device.THE INVESTIGATIONState police said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene to investigate into how and why the crash occurred.FAA and fire officials said the plane departed from the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, and was headed to Montgomery County Airpark.State police said the FAA has an aircraft restriction in place while rescue efforts continue.

Crews rescued two occupants of a small plane that crashed Sunday evening into a power line tower, knocking out power across Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said the plane came into contact around 5:30 p.m. with a high-tension power line tower in the area of Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road in the Montgomery Village area, which is about 4 miles northwest of the Montgomery County Airpark.

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Crews grounded the power lines, secured the plane and were able to rescue the occupants more than seven hours after the crash.

According to Maryland State Police, the aircraft involved is a Mooney Mike 20P single-engine plane.

RESCUE EFFORTS

At 9 p.m., Goldstein said officials were in communication with the plane’s two occupants. But before crews could rescue the occupants, workers had to go up to the wires to perform grounding and bonding and secure the plane to the tower.

At 10 p.m., Goldstein said tower company crews arrived with bucket trucks and a large crane and additional resources were brought to the scene.

The fire chief said the tower was no longer electrified; however, concerns remain over static or stray electricity, which is why crews were working on grounding and bonding the tower.

Goldstein said the plane was secured at 12:16 a.m., the first occupant was rescued at 12:25 a.m. and the second patient was rescued at 12:36 a.m., both brought to the ground via bucket truck.

State police said the occupants were taken to Suburban Hospital. Both suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries that included hypothermia, Goldstein said.

In an update Monday afternoon, the fire chief said one of the occupants has since been released from the hospital.

plane occupants rescued

MCFRSPete Piringer

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POWER OUTAGES

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, Potomac Electric Power Co. reported as many as 146 outages affecting more than 88,000 customers, mostly across the upcounty from Rockville and Gaithersburg to Damascus and Olney.

By 9 p.m., the number of customers without power dropped to 76,158. But by 10 p.m., the number increased to 120,582. At 11 p.m., the number reduced to 96,506, and it further dropped to 34,688 by 11:45 p.m.

Power was restored to all but some 130 customers by early Monday morning. PEPCO Region President Donna Cooper said Monday that power was mostly restored to customers minutes before midnight Sunday.

Goldstein said the county’s Emergency Operations Center opened to coordinate the emergency responses across the county.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said power outages affected traffic signals, electricity service and some elevators.

PEPCO tweeted around 1:30 a.m.: “We are continuing to stabilize the energy infrastructure at the scene and are performing a full assessment of damage before beginning repairs. Thank you to our customers in Montgomery County for your understanding and good wishes for a safe outcome.

“We are pleased to have assisted @MCFRS and other local emergency personnel on the effort to safely rescue the individuals who were stranded in the airplane. We have restored electric service for all customers who were impacted by tonight’s incident.”

Anyone experiencing an outage is asked to report it at pepco.com/outage, PEPCO’s mobile app or by texting “OUT” to 48710.

power outage in rockville

Andrew Smart

Power outage in Rockville.

SCHOOLS CLOSED MONDAY

Montgomery County Public Schools and offices will be closed Monday. All Montgomery College campuses and locations will also be closed Monday.

TRANSIT

The Washington Area Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said the power outage is affecting the Red Line from Shady Grove to Grosvenor-Strathmore and Glenmont to Silver Spring. Shuttle buses were made available at Wheaton.

The Maryland Transit Administration said MARC’s Brunswick Line trains may experience 20-30 minute delays Monday morning between Gaithersburg and Silver Spring, saying the outage has resulted in interruptions to CSX signals and switching equipment, causing trains to significantly reduce speeds.

Additionally, many stations will be without power Monday. While trains will continue to stop at stations as scheduled, the power interruption means station door locks will not work, ticket machines and restrooms will not be accessible, and PA/LED systems will not function.

The on-board ticket surcharge will be waived for all stations east of and including Germantown. Passengers are reminded that tickets can be purchased on the train with cash only, no credit or debit cards are accepted. Passengers can also download the CharmPass app to purchase tickets on a mobile device.

THE INVESTIGATION

State police said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene to investigate into how and why the crash occurred.

FAA and fire officials said the plane departed from the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, and was headed to Montgomery County Airpark.

State police said the FAA has an aircraft restriction in place while rescue efforts continue.

plane safely on the ground

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.