The US Capitol is under lockdown amid reports of an exterior security threat, as smoke was seen rising behind the building; and an intercom message was also heard telling those outside to “seek cover.”
People attending a rehearsal for the Inauguration Day ceremonies were reportedly evacuated from the building; following the announcement of the security threat over the intercom.
The evacuation comes just days after a deadly pro-Trump mob stormed the building; clashing with security officials in a riot that left at least five dead.
In an abundance of caution following an external security threat near the Capitol; its acting chief ordered a shutdown of the complex.
“According to a report: There are currently no fires on or within the Capitol campus.”
“Members and staff were advised to shelter in place while the incident is being investigated.”
The lockdown follows the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington by Trump supporters; some of whom called for the death of Republican Vice President Mike Pence as he presided over the certification of Democrat Biden’s November election victory.
All participants in the rehearsal for Biden’s inauguration, were evacuated into the building; and also participants were being held in the Capitol rotunda and other indoor areas.
The city’s fire department posted on Twitter that firefighters put out an outside fire near the Capitol complex.
“There were no injuries,” the department said. “This accounts for smoke that many have seen.”