A rehearsal for the inauguration of US President-elect, Joe Biden earlier today had to be called off after fire broke out beneath a bridge behind the US Capitol Building amid fears of an imminent ‘insider attack.
Military personnel and staffers ran from the temporary seating on the Capitol Building’s West Front while an evacuation warning played in the background shortly after an ‘explosion’ was heard at around 10.30am.
As they panicked and ran for cover, plumes of smoke rose above the Capitol Building, where thousands of armed protesters staged an attempted coup on January 6.
Journalists at the scene reported being told of an ‘external security threat’ and people working in the Capitol Complex were told to stay away from windows and doors.
Less than an hour later, the fire department revealed that the chaos was caused by a homeless woman who unwittingly caused an explosion by using propane gas in her tent.
It caused a huge fire beneath a freeway on H Street South East, which is a stone’s throw from the Capitol, and was the source of the black smoke that had terrified people on the hill.
It came amid growing fears of an insider attack on the event after the Capitol Building riot on January 6 claimed the lives of five people including a police officer.
The security for Wednesday’s inauguration will be on a larger scale than any other in recent history as 25,000 armed National Guardsmen will be in Washington DC for it. Many have already been there since the aftermath of the January 6 MAGA mob riot.