Washington DC went on high alert for a short time this afternoon as United States Capitol Police ordered Senators, Representatives, staff, media and all others to leave the Congressional Complex in due to a “likely threat” from a nearby aircraft.
After a flurry of activity in the streets around the Capitol and on social media, police felt there was never a direct threat:
The Capitol was evacuated as a precaution tonight.
There is no threat to the Capitol.
More details to come. pic.twitter.com/7qqxqQyzlD
— United States Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 20, 2022
In the rush for information, usually nimble cable reporters were slow to react to breaking news today. Only Fox News Channel broke into the lineup to announce the alert. The outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch was also the first to reveal there was no real threat and the update from the US Capitol Police.
Persons affected by the evacuation order must remain at their “assembly point/assembly area”. According to the police, “a final update will be provided when the buildings are open and available for the start of the school year”.
As more and more details of what really happened or is happening emerge, here is the initial alert that has appeared on cellphones over the past 30 minutes:
The USCP tracks an aircraft that poses a likely threat to the Capitol complex.
• Evacuate the United States Capitol, Capitol Visitor Center, Hart, Dirksen, Russell, Cannon, Longworth, Rayburn, Library of Congress (Jefferson, Madison, and Adams), and United States Botanical Garden buildings (administration and conservatory).
• If you are on the Senate side of the Capitol or CVC, in the Hart, Dirksen, or Russell Buildings: Travel NORTH toward Union Station to the Parks Aircraft Trespass staging area just before Columbus Circle NE. DO NOT STOP at your main staging area.
• If you are on the House side of the Capitol or the CVC, in the Cannon, Longworth, Rayburn or US Botanic Garden (Administrative and Conservatory) buildings: move SOUTH towards Garfield Park. DO NOT STOP at your main staging area.
• If you are in the Library of Congress buildings (Jefferson, Madison, and Adams): Travel SOUTH toward Folger and Providence parks. DO NOT STOP at your main staging area.
• If you are at Ford, O’Neill, Postal Square, Senate Pages Dormitory/School at Webster Hall, Senate Day Care or LOC Day Care, stay indoors.
• Updates will be provided.