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Washington Monument Damage More Extensive Than Originally Thought

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Surveyors found debris covering a stairwell inside the Washington Monument after a post-earthquake inspection.
National Park Service
Surveyors found debris covering a stairwell inside the Washington Monument after a post-earthquake inspection.

The Washington Monument remains closed today after further inspections gave a better picture of the damage caused by Tuesday's earthquake.

The National Park Service is now saying that the crack they found near the top of the Washington Monument after the quake is 4 feet long. The damage following Tuesday's east coast earthquake has shut down the structure indefinitely.

During a daylong search Wednesday, structural engineers found displaced limestone blocks and a debris covered stairwell near the top of the monument.

The monument appears to have four significant cracks according to NPS.

The closing comes at a time when the Park Service is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the National Mall for Sunday's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication ceremony.

As of right now, the Washington Monument is the only attraction expected to be closed during Sunday's event.

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