The Washington Post

Washington Monument inspection suspended

A worker prepares rappelling lines at the top of the Washington Monument as inspections to the structure began last week. (REUTERS)

The National Park Service said the safety of the rappelling inspectors was under review after climber Erik Sohn was blown 30 feet, off the west wall and onto the south wall, while he was working about 50 feet above ground on Saturday. Sohn was unhurt, and officials made minor safety changes.

With the high winds Sunday morning, work examining each stone of the monument for earthquake damage was postponed. The National Park Service had planned to try for more assessments Sunday afternoon, but continuing wind gusts led to the delay.

Patricia Sullivan covers government, politics and other regional issues in Arlington County and Alexandria. She worked in Illinois, Florida, Montana and California before joining the Post in November 2001.


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