WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- A jetliner was struck by lightning as a powerful spring storm moved through the Washington area, toppling trees and causing power outages.
A United Airlines spokesman says Flight 593 to Denver diverted to Dulles International Airport late Tuesday after it was struck by lightning following take-off from Baltimore-Washington airport, The Washington Post reports.
Spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said the captain of the 757 with 143 passengers on board headed to Dulles as a precaution because he believed the front of the plane had been struck.
Officials try to route planes away from storms but they sometimes pop up unexpectedly, said Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The storm downed power lines causing outages for some 6,000 homes and businesses.
About one-third of an inch of rain fell in Washington between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.