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Elevator halts at reopened Washington Monument

A woman stops to photograph the re-opened Washington Monument in Washington May 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A woman stops to photograph the re-opened Washington Monument in Washington May 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The elevator in the Washington Monument stopped working on Wednesday, frustrating visitors two days after the U.S. capital landmark reopened to the public.

The National Park Service said the elevator in the 555-foot-high (170-meter) obelisk temporarily halted at 10:53 a.m.

Eighteen visitors in the elevator were able to disembark at ground level, the agency said in a statement. Sixty-one tourists on the observation deck got out safely.

WTOP-FM radio quoted tourists as saying that they had waited 90 minutes for an elevator when it stalled at the top of the monument, the tallest stone structure in the world. A normal elevator trip to the top takes a little more than a minute.

The obelisk reopened to visitors on Monday almost three years after it was damaged in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Repairs cost $15 million.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)

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