Deadly Plane Crash Also Kills Power to Dow Jones’ Palo Alto Plant

By: Jim Rosenberg

The crash of a private aircraft Wednesday morning in East Palo Alto, Calif., that killed the pilot and two passengers, caused fires and damage on the ground, also knocked out power throughout the area, leaving a Dow Jones printing plant on back-up power and presses temporarily idle.

“We currently have no outside utility power at the Palo Alto plant, but have a generator at the plant that they will run on tonight,” a Dow Jones spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail Wednesday evening.

Eric Savitz, a Silicon Valley-based blogger, reported earlier today that parent company Dow Jones’ Palo Alto printing plant — where’s Tech Trader Daily blog has offices — was running on back-up power and “preparing to bring in a back-up generator for tonight’s press run.”

A Dow Jones operations executive in New Jersey could not be reached immediately to confirm if such was the plan and just how much press capacity could be powered by a transportable generator.

Palo Alto’s daily, two weeklies and Dow Jones’ printing plant could not be reached by phone.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that a Tesla Motors engineer’s Cessna crashed soon after taking off around 8:00 this morning, destroying cars, three homes and a daycare center. While the three Tesla employees aboard the plane died, no one on the ground was killed or injured.

Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told the paper that the plane struck a high-voltage power line on a 100-foot-tall transmission tower near the airport runway. A Pacific Gas & Electric spokesman told the paper that the plane took down its tower and three transmission lines, which serve the municipally owned utility (E&P, Nov. 2009).

The collision took off a wing, which landed on the home daycare center. Approximately 28,000 utility customers are without power, according to Mercury News reporter Lisa Fernandez. The PG&E spokesman said the company was working to restore power by 5:00 PM.

The Mercury News story reports that traffic lights are out, schools and some large corporate offices are without electricity, a hospital is on backup power and some stores are closed.

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