Pennsylvania State police contain runaway Maryland military blimp

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ANTHONY TOWNSHIP, Penn. – A massive military blimp is now down in Pennsylvania after breaking free its moorings at a Maryland facility.

Pennsylvania State police confirmed that the blimp came down in Anthony Township, more than 130 miles from where it broke free in Aberdeen, Md.

Part of the blimp in a tree near Muncy. (WNEP-TV)

Part of the blimp in a tree near Muncy. (WNEP-TV)

"JLENS aerostate drifting northward & has descended near the ground," the North American Aerospace Defense Command tweeted around 3 p.m.

Stock photo of Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) surveillance system aerostat.

Stock photo of Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) surveillance system aerostat.

Two F-16s pursued the blimp, which is linked to NORAD's surveillance of the East Coast and usually sits tethered, two miles above the ground.

"This was not a planned released," said NORAD spokesman Mike Kucharek.  "It's tethered by a 10,000-foot cable on normal days.  It's never meant to be released."

It's unknown how police brought down the aircraft.

People are taking photos and posting them on social media as the blimp passes overhead; one WNEP viewer in Columbia County said, "Whatever this thing is, it doesn't appear to be attached to anything and there's a line dragging."

"It got caught on the roof of the school for a little bit," said Carm Dipippa.  "Then it flew away and we lost power."

According to WNEP, 24,000 customers are now without power after the tether tangled in power lines. Bloomsburg University cancelled classes for the rest of the day due to the power outages.