May 12, 2016 / 10:20 PM / 3 years ago

Maryland's Joint Base Andrews locked down after bomb threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, the military facility in suburban Washington where the presidential aircraft Air Force One is based, was put on lockdown on Thursday after a woman claiming to have a bomb strapped to her chest arrived at the visitor’s center.

The woman was apprehended by emergency personnel, and an explosives team determined there was no bomb.

“The situation has been (defused),” the base said on Twitter on Thursday evening. It warned base residents and personnel to avoid the area, where emergency responders remained.

“We take every threat seriously,” said Colonel Brad Hoagland, a base commander. “Fortunately, this incident was (defused) quickly and was determined to be a false alarm.”

Joint Base Andrews is the primary military air installation in the Washington, D.C., area. It is about 15 miles (24 km) from the White House.

The base said that at roughly 5:15 p.m. there was “a security incident” reported at the Visitor Control Center, and that emergency responders were on the scene.

The main gate was put on lockdown and all personnel and residents were warned to avoid the area.

As emergency responders worked to defuse the situation, the base said in a series of tweets that missions had not been impacted and no flights were being redirected. The base also said there was no impact to traffic on nearby Allentown Road, civilian property or businesses around the area.

Reporting by Eric Beech and Indrees Ali in Washington, and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing and additional reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Eric Walsh, James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler

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