The crash resulted in power outages for about 85,000 customers, and Pepco said around 6:45 p.m. it was assessing the damage and working closely with the county’s emergency responders.
The crash happened near Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road, said Pete Brinker, a spokesman for the county’s fire and rescue service. The site is north of Montgomery Village and close to the commercial area.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. The Washington area was covered in fog and rain on Sunday and it’s unclear if the weather played a role.
The plane, described in preliminary accounts by the FAA as a single-engine Mooney M20J, took off from the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY, the FAA said. It hit wires near the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg around 5:40 p.m.
Photos of the site show the presence of transmission lines and the number of outages that indicate transmission lines are involved. But the extent of damage to the lines and the towers that support them is unclear.
Pepco was awaiting approval before beginning work to “stabilize power infrastructure and begin restoring service,” the utility tweeted at 6:45 p.m.
Because a large apartment building with many residents may be listed as a customer, the number of utility customers may not reflect the actual number of people served.
It was not immediately clear how many customers could be served by other transmission lines or cables. It is also unclear how long repairs will take.
One estimate indicated that the plane could have lines up to 10 stories high. It could not be immediately confirmed.
High-voltage transmission lines are usually supported by lattice-like metal towers at a considerable distance from the ground. They serve substations rather than individual buildings and are significantly higher than surrounding distribution lines.