Breaking News: U.S. Capitol EVACUATED

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U.S. Capitol EVACUATED

On the morning of January 18, an exterior security threat at the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C. prompted evacuations from several areas of the complex, and orders to stay away from windows.

According to new information, the threat may have been a false alarm. Several theories have been shared as to the reason behind the threat, though most have agreed that a fire near the building was the original source of the scare. The fire has been attributed to a homeless encampment a few blocks from the Capitol.

ABC News reported that U.S. Capitol Police had evacuated staff from two areas of the building: the West Front and the crypt, which is a large circular room directly under the Capitol Rotunda.

The House of Representatives and Senate were in recess at the time of the threat, though a rehearsal for the inauguration of Joe Biden was in progress at the time.

Participants in the rehearsal were told to “seek cover” as loudspeakers across the complex played the message: “Due to an external security threat, stay where you are. Stay away from doors and windows.”

Many theories were being discussed as to the source of the threat. WIBC Indianapolis tweeted: ” The U.S. Capitol is being locked down due to an external security threat. No evacuation has been ordered. The House and Senate are in recess and the Capitol is relatively empty today. The external security threat is thought to involve a tunnel in DC.”

Photos showing smoke rising up above and behind the building were shared on social media, initiating panic of an attack.

“Smoke rising behind Capitol building. Inauguration rehearsal appears to be evacuating. Emergency announcement playing at Capitol grounds,” read one tweet.

“The West Front of the Capitol has just been evacuated. We’ve been moved, staff were sent this notice: All buildings within the Capitol Complex: External security threat, no entry or exit is permitted, stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover. USCP,” another tweet read.

After investigation, it was discovered that the smoke was coming from a fire at a homeless encampment under a freeway about a half mile from the Capitol building, as homelessness is a serious problem in Washington, D.C., like most Democrat-run areas.

Another Twitter user discussed the amount of paranoia in the nation’s capital at the moment, writing: “A homeless man under the bridge had his belongings go up in flames. As a result- the Capitol goes under lockdown over exterior threat. By tomorrow there will be evacuations when car alarms go off.”

Ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20, more than 25,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to Washington, D.C.

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