Exploding Food Cart Scares Everyone at the White House [Updated]

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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty ImagesBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

The people hanging out in and around the White House got quite a scare on Saturday morning, when a “loud noise” caused the building to be put on lockdown. Reuters reports that the noise was heard as the press stood on the South Lawn, waiting for President Obama and his family to depart for Selma, Alabama. (The Obamas were still in the White House at the time.) Everyone was ushered back inside, and the Secret Service swept the area.

It turns out that a food cart had exploded just down the street:

According to NBC Washington, “D.C. fire officials said the fire was extinguished and one person was evaluated on the scene, but not transported to a hospital.” WTOP reports that the Secret Service described the blaze as “not a serious threat.” However, Secret Service spokesperson Brian Leary said that a bomb-sniffing dog had detected “something” in a nearby car. It’s not clear if the explosion and the smelly car are related, but we’re sure someone will figure it out.

Update, 12 p.m.: Leary told the New York Times that the lockdown was triggered by the dog, not the cart. “It did not appear the two incidents were related,” the Times reports.