Plane clips power line forcing road closure near Hamilton-Owens - - Columbia, South Carolina

Plane clips power line forcing road closure near Hamilton-Owens Airport


A plane approaching Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia clipped a power line and caused over 1,000 SCE&G customers to lose electricity for a short time Tuesday evening.

Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis said two high-tension lines appeared to be down when fire units arrived. Lewis also said the pilot who clipped the lines thought he hit an air pocket.

One witness, Mel Winchester, says a coworker saw the small plane's tires clip the power line and workers at the nearby Covan Moving Company were startled by a loud explosion.

"He saw the plane was coming in low, so he stood there and watched it and watched the wheels of the airplane hit the lines," said Winchester.

"We could hear the lines or electricity inside the building sizzling. I told everybody to get out of the building, and then when the fire department came up, I met them at the end of the building, and he said to make sure that evacuation had been completed and for no one to go near or inside the building," Winchester said.

The clipped power line also forced authorities to shut down transit on Commerce Drive between Adeline Drive and Airport Boulevard.

Eric Boomhower with SCE&G says the plane knocked out power for 1,200 customers at the peak. He says linemen responded quickly and service has been fully restored.

Lewis says there are no injuries, and the plane did not crash. Authorities also reported everything was fine at the airport, and the FAA has been notified.

Authorities have yet to release the name of the pilot or where he was flying from. Commerce Drive was reopened after about an hour-and-a-half.

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