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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

White House, Capitol briefly evacuated
'All clear' later given; Cessna reportedly entered airspace

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 12:23 p.m. ET May 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - The White House and the Capitol building were emptied in a frantic evacuation Wednesday, and initial reports said a small plane had entered the restricted airspace around the capital.

You've got one minute," one officer yelled to a group including NBC correspondent Chip Reid. A few minutes later, officials gave the "all clear" signal.

As soon as the alert went out, a motorcade stormed out of a side street next to the White House, NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell reported from a cell phone as she evacuated.

As military jets scrambled over the area, officers also rushed through the Supreme Court building and told staff to get into the basement. At the Treasury Department, people were moved across the street.

Initial reports said a Cessna aircraft had entered the restricted airspace, then turned away but returned back.

It was not clear whether the aircraft inadvertently entered the restricted area, but such incidents have happened before.

Two weeks ago, an evacuation was ordered when a radar hit suggested a plane had entered the area. The hit turned out to be clouds.
My stars! I feel safe now. The White House was evacuated because of clouds!

I thought U.S. military technology was better than that.
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