Washington Monument Climber Thrown by Wind Gust

Sunday, Oct 2, 2011  |  Updated 8:56 AM EDT
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A wind gust tossed one of the engineers inspecting the Washington Monument 30 feet off the wall on Friday.  Erik Sohn said he kind of liked the experience.

A wind gust tossed one of the engineers inspecting the Washington Monument 30 feet off the wall on Friday. Erik Sohn said he kind of liked the experience.

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The National Park Service says one climber inspecting the Washington Monument, Erik Sohn, was blown about 30 feet off the monument wall Friday by a gust of wind about 6 p.m.

The gust blew him from the west face of the monument to the south side. The park service says Sohn wasn't hurt.

"This is not unusual in these kinds of operations," said Dan Lemieux, project manager from the architectural firm WJE. "Our guys are trained to deal with this kind of event. Erik's fine, and I think he even kind of enjoyed the ride."

The National Park Service and an engineering firm inspecting earthquake damage on the Washington Monument have suspended their operations because of the weather.

The planned inspection Saturday was called off amid rain. The park service says work will resume Sunday. The team has been rappelling down the monument, removing loose pieces of stone and mortar and documenting damage.
 

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