White House, Capitol Building evacuated as small plane enters no-fly zone
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury and the White House were evacuated around noon Wednesday. People in the vicinity were told to head to a rail station approximately a half mile south of the White House. Reporters in the White House itself were told to move into the basement.
President Bush was not in the White House at the time. CNN and Bloomberg have reported that the President was on a bicycle ride; CTV has reported that he was at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.
Wire sources report the cause of the evacuation as being a small plane that wandered into the no-fly zone. The craft was reportedly a Cessna 150, which flew into restricted space, left the area, and then returned. It was then escorted out of the zone by two F-16s that fired warning flares at it.
MSNBC reported that a 'lure motorcade' drove away from the White House.
Authorities gave the "all-clear" signal a few minutes after the evacuation. Other government agencies outside of the immediate area were largely unaffected.
The two men who were flying the aircraft were on their way to an air show when they slipped into Washington D.C.'s Restricted Airspace (image at right). Their plane was escorted to a Maryland airport where they were taken into custody and interviewed by authorities. Once it became clear the incident had been a mistake, the two men were released.
In Washington, D.C., a 25 km radius from the Washington Monument is restricted air space.
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- Associated Press. "Capitol Building, White House Evacuated" — , May 11, 2005
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- Associated Press. "Capitol, White House briefly evacuated" — , May 11, 2005
- "'All clear' sounded at White House" — , May 11, 2005
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- "All-clear given after White House evacuation" — , May 11 2005
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