WASHINGTON – Hazardous materials teams "disrupted" a package in a car parked close to the U.S. Capitol Friday after two white men were taken into questioning when they claimed to have a suspicious device in their car.
The detonation forced open the back driver's side door of the 2005 gray Chevy Impala and smoked floated out in what has been described as a complicated and dangerous procedure but appeared to be a very contained explosion.
Before the explosion, Sgt. Jessica Gissubel, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police (search), warned reporters that they would hear a loud noise.
Gissubel added that police were interviewing the two men together.
"The occupants of that vehicle made comments to our officers which arose suspicion. Our officers are now interviewing those individuals," Gissubel said. "The individuals did make statements alluding to the fact that they did have a suspicious package in their vehicle."
Afterward, a federal law enforcement official reported that one of the men was taken to a Washington hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while the other was released.
Gissubel said a package had been spotted inside the car and a hazardous materials and hazardous response team were called to the site. Along with the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Park Police (search), D.C. Fire and Rescue Services and the Metropolitan Police Department also responded to the call.
"We don't know if it's an explosive device," said Brian Doyle, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security (search), which sent out hazardous materials teams.
Police cordoned off several streets near where the car was parked on the corner of First Street and Constitution Ave., N.W., close to the Senate side of the Capitol. After the disruption, police were planning on bringing dogs to sniff out whether explosives were actually in the car.
The Capitol had not been evacuated nearly two hours after the incident was first reported. Tourists still milled around and in the U.S. Capitol building. The Senate remained in session for debate on a spending bill until it adjourned for the weekend shortly before 1:00 p.m. EDT. The detonation occurred at 1:10 p.m. EDT.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.