RealNews

Series of Failures Is Cited in Evacuation of Capitol

Security officials mistook a police plane carrying the governor of Kentucky for a terrorist threat last month and ordered an evacuation of the Capitol, because of a combination of equipment failure on the plane, incompatible computers on the ground and a series of human errors, experts testified Thursday at a House hearing. The plane, carrying Gov. Ernie Fletcher to President Ronald Reagan’s funeral, landed uneventfully at Reagan National Airport in Virginia just across the Potomac from Washington. But the Capitol police, concluding from information on a government hot line that an unidentified aircraft was bearing down on them, hustled hundreds of people out of the Capitol and nearby office buildings. A result was “people running through the streets, having security people yelling at them, ‘Take off your shoes, run, run, run, the plane will hit in two minutes,’ ” Representative Ellen O. Tauscher, Democrat of California, a member of the House Aviation subcommittee, said at the hearing. Full Story

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