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Aug 24, 2011 9:18 PM by Kirsten Bennett

More cracks found in Washington Monument after earthquake

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Park Service says engineers have discovered several additional cracks in the top portion of the Washington Monument.

The cracks were found Wednesday during a daylong inspection of the interior of the monument. A 4-inch crack was discovered Tuesday during an inspection of the exterior by helicopter, shortly after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the nation's capital.

The monument is closed to visitors indefinitely.

Park service spokeswoman Carol Johnson could not say how many additional cracks were found but says engineers found three or four "significant" ones.

The park service is bringing in engineers from two firms with extensive experience investigating earthquake damage to conduct a more detailed inspection on Thursday.

Johnson says it's likely that the additional cracks mean the monument will take longer to repair.

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