Army Parachute Jump at DC Ballpark Sparks Capitol Evacuation

The US Capitol was briefly evacuated on the evening of April 20, as a miscommunication over a US Army parachute jump at Wednesday’s Washington Nationals game caused alarm.

At 6.48 pm, the US Capitol Police tweeted that the complex had earlier been evacuated “out of abundance of caution” but added that there was no threat.

Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department later confirmed that the evacuation was caused by a pre-game parachute jump conducted by the US Army Golden Knights at Nationals Park, located about a mile south of the Capitol, according to the Washington Post.

Six members of the Golden Knights landed safely in the outfield of the area before the game, the Washington Post reported.

Authorities were still working out why the ceremony, held for Military Appreciation Night, had not been communicated properly.

This video, recorded by Instagram user @foxrc21 on Wednesday evening, shows the Golden Knights landing at Nationals Park. Credit: @foxrc21 via Storyful

Video transcript

[CHEERING & MUSIC PLAYING]

- You may notice the parachute has seven openings on the front.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- Uncle [INAUDIBLE] has a flag with a golden cross.

- OK. That one?

- Not that flag. He's the very last one, the one with the black flag.

- Here come the Golden Knights. Each jumper must first achieve--

- He's the one spinning.

- --75 free-fall parachute jumps, be enlisted in the Army, and have a clean civilian and military record prior to applying to the annual Golden Knights assessment and selection.

[CHEERING]

During assessment and selection, they conduct rigorous physical training and execute an average of 10 free-fall jumps per day.

- He's the last one to come in.

- Each year, the Golden Knights fly South for the winter to conduct two months of intense training in Homestead, Florida. During this time--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- --they conduct thousands of human free-fall--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- --parachute jumps and execute an average of six free-fall jumps per day.

- There he is.

- That's him right there.

- The one [INAUDIBLE].

- No, the one over there, the last one to come in.

- Oh, yeah.

- Let's make some noise, as the last two jumpers bring it into the target area.

[CHEERING & MUSIC PLAYING]

- [INAUDIBLE]

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Unlike the military--

- Yeah.

- --jet team, the United States Army Parachute Team is comprised mostly of non-commissioned officers, the 89 men and women of the Golden Knights come from various jobs throughout the Army to spend three years on one of the five major sections of the team. Our [INAUDIBLE] support section contains the office of command, operations, logistics, and parachute maintenance. Ladies and gentlemen,

- Uncle [INAUDIBLE]

- Thank you for being such a warm and receptive airborne audience. In closing, I leave you with this final thought. May all of your days be prosperous--

- Woo!

- --and your nights golden!

[CHEERING]

- And once again, the United States Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights.

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