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Washington Monument Elevator Problem Examined

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James Perry, chief of resource management for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, speaks to the media and talks about one of the cracks that was repaired in the Washingtonton Monument (seen in the background at right) during a preview tour for the media prior to the its reopening on May 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Monument has been closed since August 23, 2011 when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck 84 miles southwest of the Nation's Capitol. The Monument is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday May 12.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

James Perry, chief of resource management for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, speaks to the media and talks about one of the cracks that was repaired in the Washingtonton Monument (seen in the background at right) during a preview tour for the media prior to the its reopening on May 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Monument has been closed since August 23, 2011 when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck 84 miles southwest of the Nation’s Capitol. The Monument is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday May 12. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The National Park Service says it is investigating what caused the elevator at the Washington Monument to malfunction two days after the building reopened.

Spokeswoman Carol Johnson said Wednesday about 60 people were on the observation level 500 feet up on May 14 and had to walk down nearly 900 steps.

The elevator stopped about 20 feet above the ground floor.

The monument reopened on May 12, nearly three years after an earthquake cracked and chipped it.

Johnson tweeted about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that the elevator went out of service and about 50 visitors were being evacuated because of a thunderstorm.

She tweeted about 7 p.m. that the monument was open and the elevator running.

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