Power has been restored to the over 85,000 Montgomery County residents affected by a plane crashing into a Gaithersburg power line Sunday evening. One of the two people rescued from the plane remains in a local trauma center, officials said.
Rescue crews helped bring down the suspended plane at 4 a.m. on Monday, following the Sunday evening crash into a power line tower around Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road in Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg, County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said, during a media briefing on Monday afternoon.
The two plane inhabitants were taken to a local trauma center for serious injuries and showed improvements although one of the two was still in the hospital, Goldstein said. Goldstein added that was all the information he could provide on the state of the patients currently.
Pepco region president Donna Cooper said all power had been restored by 11:58 p.m. Sunday to residents affected by outages as a result of the crash.
“One of the things that we had to do in this process… was make certain that this zone was safe, as well as secure. That took grounding to ensure that there was no residual power [and] de-energizing the actual power source within the area as well,” Cooper said.
Pepco worked in coordination with fire rescue crews and other officials to make sure the area was safe before they were able to restore power, a few minutes short of midnight, Cooper said.
As a result of the crash, nearby roads have been closed since Sunday evening. Maryland State Police officials said they’re hoping to open them by Monday evening. Additionally, police officials hope to remove the aircraft from the location safely once it has been inspected by the National Traffic Safety Board.
Goldstein said a 911 responder from the Quince Orchard Boulevard facility stayed on the line with the passenger and the pilot for an extended period of time while they were suspended in the plane from 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening to around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
“We then started relaying messages through [the 911 responder] to the folks inside the aircraft,” Goldstein said.
After that, Goldstein said fire rescue officials then transitioned to contacting the occupants of the plane directly to check up on them.
According to Goldstein, bringing the plane down from the tower took place in a series of steps:
- Officials first stabilized the plane by using a crane.
- They then segmented the plane and the engine in two pieces.
- They lowered the plane to the ground.
- And then moved to lowering the engine to the ground.
Goldstein said there were two parallel electrical towers at the location of the crash, the north and the south towers. During the crash, the plane first crashed into the power lines of the north tower before colliding with and becoming embedded into the structure of the south tower.
Cooper said the transmission towers, which were hit by the plane are currently being assessed for damage.
“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,” she said.