D-backs vs. Nationals pregame activity causes U.S. Capitol evacuation
A demonstration before the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals game to celebrate Military Appreciation Day led to the U.S. Capitol’s evacuation on Wednesday night.
Members of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights, an aerial parachute team, jumped out of a military aircraft and onto the field at Nationals Park ahead of first pitch as fans cheered them on.
However, the plane’s lack of clearance caused a brief evacuation of the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Visitor Center and the Library of Congress just over a mile away from the ballpark.
Social media videos of strange parachute jumpers plummeting in eye shot of Capitol Hill surfaced, and police believed the aircraft posed a “probable threat.”
BREAKING VIDEO: Unidentified persons with parachutes over US capitol. pic.twitter.com/2VdIty9o3h
— This Is What’s Trending Now (@TrendingThisIs) April 20, 2022
The single-engine plane did not report its take off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, and police evacuated the Capitol Building as a precaution.
The Capitol was evacuated out of an abundance of caution this evening.
There is no threat at the Capitol.
More details to come. pic.twitter.com/7qqxqQyzlD
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 20, 2022
The misunderstanding resulted in a short disruption before the aircraft’s purpose was discovered.
Meanwhile, the ballgame began without delay, with center fielder Daulton Varsho stepping into the batter’s box approximately 40 minutes after Capitol staffers were alerted of a threat to the building.
Investigators are still working on the reasons behind the communications blunder.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.