Team ends rappelling check of Washington Monument

By the Associated Press | October 5, 2011 | 11:50 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Engineers who have been rappelling down the Washington Monument have completed their inspection of its exterior damage from an earthquake.

The National Park Service says the team finished its survey Wednesday morning. The engineers have been removing stone and mortar shaken loose by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23.

Park service officials have said the engineers will provide a report that will help determine how the monument should be repaired. The earthquake caused numerous cracks to form in the 127-year-old obelisk. But the engineers have said it remains structurally sound.

The inspection began a week ago, but weather caused some delays and complications. On Friday, one engineer was blown about 30 feet off the monument's face by a gust of wind. He was not injured.