Inauguration rehearsal is evacuated due to ‘external security threat’  

A rehearsal for the inauguration had to be called off and everyone in attendance evacuated on Monday morning due to an ‘external security threat’ that turned out to be nothing more than a fire beneath a nearby bridge.  

Staffers ran from bleachers that were set up ahead of Wednesday’s event while an evacuation warning played in the background. 

Staffers were also sent text messages telling them to stay away from windows. It came amid growing fears of an insider attack on the event and while the nation still reels from the Capitol Building riot on January 6. 

The fire department tweeted shortly before 11am that no one was injured and that the smoke was coming from a nearby fire on H Street South East. 

Photographs from the scene show what appears to be debris under the bridge ablaze.  

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Members of the military band evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to a security threat

Members of the military band evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to a security threat

Members of the military band evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to a security threat

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a security threat during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a security threat during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a security threat during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

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