US Capitol briefly evacuated by airspace violation


Published: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 2:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 2:48 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Authorities say the U.S. Capitol and surrounding buildings were evacuated and fighter jets were scrambled after an airliner flying into Washington's Reagan airport went out of radio contact.

The FAA says a Piedmont Airlines flight from Hilton Head, S.C., lost radio contact Saturday as it approached the area. The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled fighter jets out of Andrews Air Force Base in response.

Capitol Police issued an evacuation order on Saturday warning workers that an aircraft entered restricted airspace.

The order was called off after controllers made contact with the plane and it landed at Reagan, which is directly across the Potomac River from Washington.

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