Engineers to Rappel Down Cracked Washington Monument

Posted September 26th, 2011 at 8:43 pm (UTC-5)
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Engineers plan to rappel down the sides of the Washington Monument Tuesday to assess cracks and other damage from last month's 5.8 magnitude earthquake, which shook the U.S. capital region and other areas along the East Coast.

On Monday, the National Park Service released surveillance videos which showed the August 23 temblor shaking the monument's structure and people running down the stairs as debris fell from the ceiling. The Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks says the Washington landmark is structurally sound and is not going anywhere.

The nearly 170-meter obelisk has been closed to the public since the quake, which was the largest to strike the eastern part of the United States since 1944. It is not clear when the Washington Monument will reopen. The structure was completed in 1884.