White House on High Alert as Secret Service Investigates Hazmat Incident
The White House was temporarily evacuated on Monday after a suspicious package containing a white powder was found on the premises. The powder tested positive for cocaine hydrochloride, a highly addictive and illegal drug.
The U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for the security of the president and the White House, said in a statement that it discovered an “unknown item” on the complex and took precautionary measures to clear the area.
“U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division Officers located an unknown item on the White House complex,” the statement said. “As a precaution, the White House grounds were evacuated, and the DC Fire Departments Hazmat team responded.”
The statement did not specify where exactly the item was found or who may have left it there. It also did not reveal how much cocaine was detected or whether it posed any threat to the president or his staff.
The evacuation affected several areas around the White House, including the Ellipse, Lafayette Park, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The road closures caused traffic disruptions and delays in the downtown area.
Hazmat crews seen at West Wing
According to eyewitnesses, hazmat crews were also seen entering the gate of the West Wing of the White House, where the president’s office and residence are located. It is unclear whether the president was in the building at the time of the incident or whether he was notified of the situation.
The West Wing is considered one of the most secure areas of the White House, with multiple layers of security and screening. It is also where some of the most sensitive and classified information and meetings take place.
The incident raised questions about how a potentially dangerous substance could have made its way into the White House grounds and whether it was part of a deliberate attempt to harm or intimidate the president or his staff.
The Secret Service said it was investigating the incident and working with other law enforcement agencies to determine the origin and nature of the item. It also said it lifted all road closures and resumed normal operations at the White House after ensuring that there was no further threat.
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