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U.S. Capitol Briefly Evacuated

The Nation | FAREWELL TO A PRSIDENT

June 10, 2004|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court were temporarily evacuated Wednesday when a small plane triggered a security scare during preparations for former President Reagan's funeral, officials said.

Authorities, already on high alert, declared the incident a false alarm after aviation and security personnel identified the aircraft and determined it was not a threat.

The orders to evacuate were given when the twin-engine turboprop carrying Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher had a mechanical problem with its transponder. It prevented air traffic controllers from identifying the plane.

Two F-15 fighter planes were diverted from a nearby air patrol to investigate the incident involving the Beech King Air craft registered to the Kentucky State Police, military officials said.

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