Capitol briefly evacuated amid parachute jump at Nats Park
The U.S. Capitol and surrounding buildings were evacuated Wednesday evening due to a miscommunication regarding a military parachuting demonstration at the Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium.
The United States Capitol Police sent out an alert Wednesday telling the U.S. Capitol Complex to evacuate due to a “probable threat” from an aircraft. The advisory was quickly rescinded, with the police saying there was no threat.
The aircraft that was detected was reportedly being flown by the U.S. Army Golden Knights, whose members parachuted into the baseball stadium for Military Appreciation Night.
The Capitol police were reportedly unaware of the aircraft and thought it was a threat, triggering the evacuation notice. Nationals Stadium is about a mile from the Capitol.
It is unclear who is to blame for the mishap.
Two Capitol police sources told NBC News the miscommunication happened between the police and the organizers of the pregame event.
The Associated Press cited officials who said preliminary review showed the pilot of the aircraft took off without the right clearance.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said in a statement the miscommunication stemmed from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)
“The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable,” Pelosi wrote Wednesday night.
“The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for Members, staff and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6th.”
Pelosi said an investigation into the incident would be done to figure out what happened and who is to blame “for this outrageous and frightening mistake.”
Most lawmakers were not at the Capitol during the incident, since the House and Senate were not in session.
The Hill has reached out to the Capitol Police, Army and the FAA for comment.
Updated: 9:07 p.m.
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