Lockdowns at the White House and Capitol on Tuesday over a potential airspace violation may have been because of a flock of birds, officials say.
A spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told NBC News that the object causing the lockdown could have been “a flock of birds or a weather balloon.”
The spokesperson also said the event was “resolved without incident.”
The White House and Capitol Building went into a brief lockdown earlier Tuesday.
The Secret Service said in a statement that the White House had been locked down “due to a potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region.”
Capitol Police said they were “tracking an aircraft that poses a potential threat to the Capitol Complex.”
The lockdown was lifted shortly thereafter, with NORAD later saying there was “no aircraft” involved in the incident.
As Fighter Jets Scrambled Over Unidentified Aircraft.
The White House was briefly put in lockdown and the Capitol building was evacuated amid panicked reports that fighter jets were scrambled over Washington D.C. due to a suspected airspace violation. The lockdowns were reportedly lifted after the unidentified aircraft was judged not to be hostile. Two law enforcement sources told ABC News that an aircraft inbound to Washington D.C. was being tracked.
United States Capitol Police (USCP) said in a statement that the report of a possible aircraft in restricted airspace came in at approximately 8:27 a.m. The lock down was lifted about a half hour later.
“In an abundance of caution, the USCP began monitoring the situation for any potential threats, and as a result, access to Capitol Complex buildings was restricted for a short time. At approximately 9:12 a.m., the situation was cleared without incident,” the statement said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what happened with the unauthorized aircraft.