Brief evacuation of US White House sparked by man jumping over fence

A US Secret Service agent with an automatic rifle hurries people to evacuate the White House complex over a security alert moments after President Barack Obama and his family left for the presidential retreat, Camp David, in Maryland on Sept 19, 2014
A US Secret Service agent with an automatic rifle hurries people to evacuate the White House complex over a security alert moments after President Barack Obama and his family left for the presidential retreat, Camp David, in Maryland on Sept 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man jumped over the fence of the United States' White House and ran for several seconds towards the executive mansion on Friday, sparking an evacuation within the complex shortly after President Barack Obama and his daughters had departed for the weekend.

Journalists and staff were allowed back on to the grounds some time later, but a partial lockdown of the north-west side of the building remained in place.

A video showed the intruder running across the White House lawn towards the President's residence. A US Secret Service spokesman said the man had been apprehended, but declined further comment.

Mr Obama and his daughters had left the White House beforehand, departing on board the Marine One helicopter for Camp David, the presidential retreat in nearby Maryland.

Shortly thereafter, the intruder successfully got on to the grounds, and uniformed Secret Service personnel ordered the press corps and members of the White House staff to evacuate.

No further details were immediately available.