At least two people trapped in airplane stuck in live power lines in Maryland

A small plane carrying at least two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials tried to extricate the aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the single-engine plane, which had departed White Plains, N.Y., crashed into the power lines near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg around 5:40 p.m. Sunday. The FAA said two people were aboard.


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Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, later posted a video message on Twitter that said three people were on board but were uninjured. He said rescuers had been in contact with them. 

The FAA identified the plane as a Mooney M20J.

The video showed a small white plane positioned nose up near a power tower. The plane was stuck about 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground, and the transmission lines remained live, complicating rescue efforts, Piringer said. 

"Everything is still energized at this time," he said.

The utility Pepco reported that about 80,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County. Piringer said that many traffic lights were also out in the area. 

The crash took place in Gaithersburg, a city of 69,000 people about 24 miles (39 kilometers) northwest of Washington, D.C. 

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately clear. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.