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In Monument elevator problems, human element is 'key'

Monday - 5/26/2014, 11:54pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- Maybe it really is all in the wrist.

Since its reopening earlier this month, the Washington Monument's elevator has been plagued with repeated problems, resulting in delays, closures and even the temporary stranding of a tour guide.

But an internal memo points to a single twist of a key as the likely culprit, rather than something more unnerving.

ABC7 obtained a copy of the letter from Bob Vogel, the superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, to all National Mall employees.

In it he offers both assurances -- "the elevator is safe to operate" -- and the likely source of the trouble.

"The elevator key was found to be in between operating mode and inspection mode, which would cause the elevator to stop," Vogel writes.

The memo stated that the same problem may have been the cause of a stoppage about a week earlier.

Quality Elevator has now removed the key to rule out human error and will continue to monitor the elevator.

"I know there have been rumors that the elevator at some point has experienced 'free falls,'" Vogel writes. "There is no physical or computer evidence of that."

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