Capitol Evacuated After Power Failure
April 3, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) — The
U.S. Capitol was evacuated shortly after noon Monday
after the building briefly lost power.
The building was
reopened about an hour later after power was restored. The House
and Senate were not in session at the time of the outage. Both
were to convene at 2 p.m. ET.Mary-Beth Hutchinson,
a spokeswoman for Potomac Electric Power Co., said
the electricity shut off automatically after there was "a momentary drop in voltage
due to customer operations up the lines" away from the Capitol."The protective equipment
sensed the significant change in voltage and tripped," she said.
Nearby office buildings
were not affected by the outage. Before the evacuation sirens
went off, more than 100 visitors sat in the darkened House gallery.
They exited with everyone else when the alarm sounded, calmly
walking toward exits.