2-tons of National Cathedral to be removed

A crane gets to work in the rain during the removal of two tons of material from the National Cathedral.(Photo: Autria Godfrey)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Damaged portions of a Washington National Cathedral pinnacle will be removed from the church temporarily after it was damaged by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

The pieces weighing 2 tons will be removed Thursday morning by crane from the southeast grand pinnacle of the central tower. The pieces were damaged by an Aug. 23 earthquake.

Church officials say the pieces are being removed to make the pinnacles and central tower more stable until stonework can be repaired. Then they will be put back in place.

The Cathedral has also arranged with a rappelling team of engineers who inspected the Washington Monument's earthquake damage to also evaluate damage to the gothic cathedral. It's not clear when that work will take place.

The cathedral was completed in 1990 after 83 years of work.