Washington Monument top cracked by earthquake

Associated Press
Security keeps people from entering the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, after it was evacuated following an earthquake in the Washington area. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia forced evacuations of all the monuments on the National Mall in Washington and rattled nerves from Georgia to Martha's Vineyard, the Massachusetts island where President Barack Obama is vacationing. No injuries were immediately reported.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Security keeps people from entering the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, after it was evacuated following an earthquake in the Washington area. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia forced evacuations of all the monuments on the National Mall in Washington and rattled nerves from Georgia to Martha's Vineyard, the Massachusetts island where President Barack Obama is vacationing. No injuries were immediately reported. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service says engineers have found a crack near the top of the Washington Monument presumably caused by a magnitude-5.8 earthquake that shook the East Coast.

Park service spokesman Bill Line said Tuesday night that structural engineers found the crack where the 555-foot landmark narrows considerably.

He says the monument will be closed indefinitely to keep the public safe.

An outside engineering service will study the crack on Wednesday.

The 91,000-ton monument is made of Maryland marble.

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