WASHINGTON – Pennsylvania state police say a military blimp that broke loose in Maryland and drifted over Pennsylvania is on the ground and secure.
Bob Reese, a state police spokesman in Montoursville, says it came down in the area of Muncy, near Williamsport.
Here is the #blimp well part of it…in a tree near Muncy @WNEP pic.twitter老域名购买/epkaSuFsxj
— Nikki Krize (@NikkiKrize) October 28, 2015
The blimp caused about 18,000 power outages. Columbia County chief clerk Gail Kipp says the blimp dragged its tether line, which took out power lines and caused widespread outages.
PPL Electric reports more than 22K w/o power in Pennsylvania area where blimp was sighted @BNONews pic @JonMeyerWNEP pic.twitter老域名购买/CxvPXQkxQl
— Nick Hennen (@tweetbrk) October 28, 2015
The unmanned Army surveillance blimp broke loose from its ground tether at a military base and drifted over central Pennsylvania as fighter jets tracked it. The aircraft is known as a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defence Elevated Netted Sensor System and can be used as part of a missile defence system.
It’s not clear how the blimp came loose.
WATCH: Work crews fold up runaway military blimp
The North American Aerospace Defence Command in Colorado said the blimp detached from its station at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, at about 12:20 p.m., and initially travelled north at an altitude of about 16,000 feet.
The runaway blimp was causing a stir in Pennsylvania, with people tweeting photos of an object believed to be the blimp, and it didn’t take long for “blimp” to begin trending on 老域名怎么购买.
We put a man on the moon 45 years ago but we can’t tie down a #blimp properly? #Merica
— Al Veeterzane (@AlVeeterzane) October 28, 2015
FOX NEWS: OBAMA FIRST PRESIDENT TO LOSE BLIMP
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 28, 2015
Drag line on property near Bloomsburg, PA. Witness says he saw blimp cable dragging near his home. pic.twitter老域名购买/g30HY5iclC
— Andy Mehalshick (@AndyMehalshick) October 28, 2015
And of course a 老域名怎么购买 parody account for the blimp was started, and tweeted it was “Heading to Canada, guys. Heard that Carson and Trump are the front runners.”
Heading to Canada, guys. Heard that Carson and Trump are the front runners.
— Baltimore Blimp (@BmoreBlimp) October 28, 2015
go on @BmoreBlimp, you do you
— Biz (@That_Biz) October 28, 2015
I want to be just like @BmoreBlimp when I grow up.
— KYLESBY (@KYLESBY) October 28, 2015
The blimp is the kind used extensively in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to provide ground surveillance around U.S. bases and other sensitive sites.
“My understanding is, from having seen these break loose in Afghanistan on a number of occasions, we could get it to descend and then we’ll recover it and put it back up,” Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in a brief exchange with reporters at the Pentagon.
“This happens in bad weather.”
Carter did not say what the two F-16 fighters tracking the runaway blimp might be asked to do or whether he considered it a threat to aviation.
The F-16s were launched from the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base in New Jersey, according to the NORAD statement.
FAA officials were working with the military to ensure air traffic safety.
WATCH: Timelapse video shows inflation of military blimp which floated away in Maryland
The aircraft is known as a Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defence Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS, and can be used as part of a missile defence system.
It was not immediately clear how the blimp came loose.
Associated Press writers Kristen De Groot and AP photo stringer Jimmy May in Pennsylvania contributed to this report.