White House Lockdown Lifted After Airspace Violation Reported in Washington, DC
( NBC )
Fighter jets were scrambled and federal buildings were briefly evacuated after an airspace violation in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning, according to law enforcement officials.
The concerns were over a small aircraft that breached the national capital region airspace, two defense officials said.
NORAD has scrambled Coast Guard helicopters, which are escorting the aircraft, the officials said. NORAD jets are also in the area but are not involved in the escort.
"Senior interagency officials are monitoring the situation on a national event conference call. Our jet fighters are on site and responding. Plane is not considered hostile at this time," an official NORAD account on Twitter, @NORADCommand, posted about 9:30 a.m.
The U.S. Capitol and its office buildings were evacuated as a precaution for about half an hour. Capitol Police sent a notification of a potential threat shortly after 8:30 a.m., and the evacuations were ordered. People were allowed back in after about 30 minutes.
The White House was locked down shortly before 9 a.m. That lockdown was lifted about 20 minutes later, NBC News reported. The North Lawn of the White House was cleared. The U.S. Secret Service says personnel at the White House were told to remain in place.