Mountain View police say drone caused large power outage

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, police are looking for a drone pilot who they say caused a large power outage that plunged 1,600 customers into darkness for hours.

"Suddenly in the middle of the play we saw sparks in the theater and heard a large sound," said Maya Popovich.

She was working as an usher Thursday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts when the lights went out around 8:15 p.m. The show could not go on.

The public library was also evacuated. But without power, staff couldn't use the automated announcement system.

"All the staff went in all the corners and crannies of the library to find people," said manager Karin Bricker. "We had some flashlights and we also used our phones, they have good strong flashlights, to make sure everyone was out."

Katie Nelson with Mountain View police says, "We were able to recover a very, very burned drone and right now we're trying to figure out who owns the drone, where it was flying. Why it was in that area."

Witnesses told police they saw a man with white hair, driving a white hatchback, flying a drone on Polaris Avenue shortly before the outage.

The FAA does not allow drones to be flown near people. And they must be kept clear of obstacles.

"I'm not too keen on seeing some of the stuff, I mean, we don't have enough regulation to figure out what's going on with drones," said Popovich.

PG&E says 1,600 customers lost power and it wasn't restored until after 11 p.m.

Anyone with information about the drone pilot is asked to call Mountain View police.
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