White House temporarily locked down after potential airspace violation

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White House temporarily locked down after potential airspace violation

Secret Service agents move around the White House with guns drawn during a lockdown because of reports of a stray airplane over Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House was temporarily locked down on Tuesday after a potential violation of restricted airspace, the Secret Service said on Tuesday.

Nearby roads were closed and no one was allowed into the compound, and the U.S. Capitol was also temporarily locked down. The White House and Capitol later reopened.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement that it responded "to an event" in the Special Flight Rules Area surrounding Washington.

"NORAD directed U.S. Coast Guard rotary wing aircraft to investigate and the event was resolved without incident," it said.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no aircraft was observed and the incident may have been an errant blip on a sensitive radar.

Security lockdowns are not uncommon around the White House.


(Reporting by Phil Stewart, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)