The White House was put on lockdown and Capitol Hill was evacuated when an unresponsive aircraft flying over the DC area failed to communicate with federal air traffic controllers.
Media reports stated that Fighter jets were also scrambled to the scene, as US Northern Command said it had tasked aircraft responding to the emergency alert.
The evacuation orders for Capitol Hill were sent out at approximately 8:30 am and the White House lockdown began nearly 15 minutes later. The orders were lifted following nearly thirty minutes of organized panic, in which federal officials appeared to be readying a response for a potentially disastrous situation.
Multiple people in the area reported seeing an evacuation helicopter hovering over Capitol Hill. The plane in question was reportedly a small aircraft found not to be hostile, though additional details were not immediately clear.
In a statement, US Northern Command said senior officials from multiple agencies were monitoring the situation.
The statement also said North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) Command aircraft were “on the scene and responding” though the plane in question was “not considered hostile”.