Heard on the Hill

Falling Tree Kills AOC Employee Near Capitol

Matthew McClanahan was working on pipe near Cannon House Office Building

The Architect of the Capitol said that Matthew McClanahan was working on a pipe when a section of the tree fell. (Courtesy Suzanne Kennedy)

A falling tree killed an Architect of the Capitol employee working on a project Tuesday near the Cannon House Office Building.

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Architect of the Capitol employee Matthew McClanahan following an accident on the U.S. Capitol Grounds,” architect Stephen T. Ayers said in a statement.

He added, “a large branch of an American Elm fell and struck Matt, who was working nearby on an irrigation pipe. Matt was a talented, dedicated pipefitter in the Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds.” 

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan paid tribute to McClanahan and his family.

The tree fell around 9:15 a.m. near the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street, according to the U.S. Capitol Police, which responded to the scene with D.C. Fire and EMS. McClanahan had to be extricated from under the tree before he could be taken to a local hospital.

[Shots Fired Near Capitol Building]

NBC News tweeted a photograph of the incident.

The area around the fallen tree was closed still closed off Tuesday afternoon. AOC crews were inspecting the tree and were beginning to remove the remaining portions.

Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue and First Street will remain closed until further notice.

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