Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has released a scathing statement calling out the Federal Aviation Administration for their ‘frightening mistake,’ which led to the evacuation of the Capitol.
The statement was issued after U.S. Capitol Police mistakenly ordered an emergency evacuation of the U.S. Capitol over a plane flying in restricted airspace. The aircraft ended up being part of a skydiving demonstration at the nearby Washington Nationals baseball stadium.
The evacuation order had been carried out for more than 15 minutes before police realized that the “threat” had simply been a plane transporting the U.S. Army skydiving team to the stadium for Military Appreciation Day.
“Today, and every day, our Congressional community is extraordinarily grateful for the heroism of our United States Capitol Police officers. In ordering the evacuation of the Capitol and vigilantly monitoring for a potential aircraft threat, our officers ensured the safety of all who work in these hallowed halls — and we thank them for their exemplary service,” Pelosi’s statement began.
“The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable. The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for Members, staff, and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6th,” the statement continued.
“Congress looks forward to reviewing the results of a thorough after-action review that determines what precisely went wrong today and who at the Federal Aviation Administration will be held accountable for this outrageous and frightening mistake,” Pelosi’s statement concluded.
Capitol Police are typically notified regarding flights in the area, but they did not receive a notification about this particular plane, which was headed to the skydiving demonstration at the stadium.
Most lawmakers were not present at the Capitol, as they were away on a two-week recess.
Following the successful flyover, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Washington Nationals with a score of 11 to 2.