White House Given All-Clear After Lockdown

White House was placed on a security lockdown for close to an hour after an unattended package is found across the street.

Ben Ariel,

The White House
The White House

The White House was placed on a security lockdown for close to an hour on Wednesday afternoon (local time), Reuters reported.

The reason for the lockdown was an unattended package found across the street in Lafayette Park, a Secret Service spokeswoman said.

President Barack Obama was not at the White House at the time of the security procedure, according to the news agency.

Bomb technicians and the D.C. fire department were called to the scene, Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor told Reuters. The Secret Service deemed the package safe and gave the all-clear less than an hour later.

No one is allowed in or out of the White House building during lockdowns.

In June, the White House press briefing room was evacuated because of a bomb threat, Newsmax reported. The White House was also locked down in early March after a nearby food truck exploded.

Last November, a woman was arrested for carrying a gun outside the White House during a protest along the north fence as Barack Obama was completing a nationwide address on immigration inside.

The Secret Service was widely criticized last year after a series of serious security breaches. In one incident, a Texas man armed with a knife was able to climb over a White House fence and made it deep into the executive mansion.

It was later revealed that the man, Omar Gonzalez, got far further into the building than initially said

According to an executive summary of a Homeland Security review of that incident, some officers on the White House grounds that night thought thick bushes near the building's front door would stop the intruder. They were also surprised when he was able to walk through a pair of doors, which were unlocked.