WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House and a block of surrounding streets in downtown Washington were locked down by the Secret Service for about an hour Wednesday in a security alert reportedly sparked by a dump truck.
The truck was being searched prior to entering the North Lawn of the White House where a long-term excavation and building project has been under way.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said that a dog used to search vehicles going into the White House complex had indicated a problem to handlers, prompting a search of the truck according to normal security procedures.
Heavy traffic built up around the White House due to road closures, and officials and reporters were barred from entering the Northwest gate leading to the West Wing.
The false alarm, a frequent occurrence at the White House, was lifted after around an hour.