Photos showed the plane appearing to be caught in a latticework of cables and pylons that support high-voltage transmission lines.
The site is north of the village of Montgomery, close to the business district, and less than two or three miles from the small airport.
The transmission lines apparently involved lie in the upper-middle part of the county. Pepco said it was assessing the damage and working closely with the county’s first responders.
The cause of the accident is not yet known. The Washington area was cloudy and rainy on Sunday, and it’s unclear whether the weather had an impact.
The plane, described by the FAA in its initial report as a single-engine Mooney M20J, hit a high-tension line a few miles from Gaithersburg’s Montgomery County Airport at about 5:40 p.m.
The extent of damage to the line and the towers supporting it is unclear. In the photo, the tower adjacent to the plane appears to be intact.
Pepco is awaiting permits before it can begin to “stabilize the electrical infrastructure and begin restoring service,” the utility tweeted around 6:45 p.m.
The number of utility customers does not reflect the actual number of people served, as large condominiums with dozens of residents may be listed as a single customer.
It appears Metro is one of the affected customers. Trains are currently bypassing Wheaton station due to a power outage caused by the accident. A Metro spokeswoman said services could be affected on Monday.
It was not immediately clear if or how many customers would be able to get service over other transmission lines or cables. Also unclear is how long repairs might take.
One estimate suggests the plane may have hit lines as high as 10 stories high. The photos appear to show the plane at about that altitude. The wings and fuselage appear largely intact.
High-voltage transmission lines are usually supported by lattice-like metal towers that are located far above the ground. They serve substations rather than individual buildings, and are located at much higher elevations than neighborhood distribution lines.