A security alert at the U.S. Capitol which briefly caused panic, prompting a lockdown, turned out to be caused by a fire at a nearby homeless camp.
“Loud speakers at the Capitol warn of an “external threat”. Smoke can be seen in the distance with guards running,” tweeted a journalist on the scene.
After the lockdown was announced, people in the vicinity were told, “No entry or exit is permitted, stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover.”
Loud speakers at the Capitol warn of an “external threat”. Smoke can be seen in the distance with guards running. pic.twitter.com/G0WKXgpYQC
— Reggie Cecchini (@Cecchini_DC) January 18, 2021
The fire prompted an inauguration rehearsal to be cancelled and the participants to be evacuated.
It has now been revealed that the emergency lockdown was triggered “out of an abundance of caution” over a fire that started at a nearby homeless encampment.
— John Koussis (@kouskousVPI) January 18, 2021
An image posted to Twitter shows the fire, which occurred under the 695 bridge but was soon extinguished, allowing the lockdown to be lifted.
The state of emergency is a response to the storming of the Capitol earlier this month and alleged threats posed by armed extremists to the inauguration of Joe Biden.
However, despite defense officials telling the media that they fear an “inside attack,” they had to acknowledge that there was “no evidence of any threats.”
Something tells me that putting “no evidence of any threats” in the headline would’ve generated fewer shares and clicks pic.twitter.com/oM0Ge2pOVD
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 18, 2021
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