Pilot, passenger rescued from crash that left thousands without power in Maryland

When officials arrived at the scene they found the small plane hanging from an electricity tower about 100 feet in the air.

Updated: November 28, 2022 - 11:09am

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A pilot and a passenger have been rescued from their small plane that crashed into power lines in suburban Maryland, leaving thousands without electricity, officials said Monday morning.

Rescue efforts began at 5:30 p.m. Sunday after the crash, CNN reported. The occupants were taken to the hospital and treated for serious injuries including trauma from the crash and hypothermia, said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Goldstein.

Maryland State Police identified the pilot as Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C., and the passenger as Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana.

When officials arrived at the scene they found the plane hanging from an electricity tower about 100 feet in the air. Rescuers needed to wait for the tower to be "grounded or bonded" before they could rescue the passenger and the pilot, Goldstein said.

About 120,000 customers were left without power on Sunday evening after the crash, but by Monday morning that number was down to just over 500, according to utility company Pepco.

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