Parts of US Capitol closed after asbestos accident - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Parts of US Capitol closed after asbestos accident

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • GOP voters in Ga. to decide Senate nominee

    GOP voters in Ga. to decide Senate nominee

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:04:39 GMT
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to take...
  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

    American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:53 AM EDT2014-07-22 08:53:32 GMT
    By JULIE WATSON Associated Press The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.
    By JULIE WATSON Associated Press The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.
  • Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

    Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 4:41 AM EDT2014-07-22 08:41:47 GMT
    For Myra James, the process of going to the gynecologist is now too much to bear.
    For Myra James, the process of going to the gynecologist is now too much to bear.
By ALAN FRAM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - An accident involving asbestos work forced a temporary closure of the House side of the Capitol on Thursday and prompted House leaders to delay the day's session for two hours.

No injuries were reported. The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. or 3 a.m., Capitol Police said.

A handful of workers were removing insulation containing asbestos from around pipes and valves on the building's fourth floor, above a staircase, said a congressional official who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

On-site samples and another sample analyzed by an outside lab revealed low enough asbestos levels that officials decided the building was safe to reopen, the official said. Those samples revealed levels similar to what is found in typical buildings in Washington, said the official, who did not provide any figures.

By midmorning, most of the building had reopened and Capitol tours on the House side had resumed. The Senate, at the other end of the 751-foot-long building, seemed unaffected by the incident.

The East Grand Staircase, which runs from the first floor to the third floor inside the House side of the building, was blocked off and more than a dozen workers and officials spent much of the day examining the area. Also closed was the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Room, a third-floor room near that staircase that was named for the late speaker and Massachusetts Democrat.

The House began the day's session at noon instead of 10 a.m. because of "an industrial accident," according to a statement from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Even so, by midmorning a handful of tourists was sitting in the visitors' gallery, observing an otherwise empty chamber.

The Senate began its session as scheduled at 10 a.m.

The office of the architect of the Capitol said in a statement that engineers and certified industrial hygienists had decided the building was safe to reopen and that the staircase would remain closed indefinitely.

Construction of the main, center section of the Capitol began in 1793 and was finished in 1826.

As the country grew and more lawmakers joined Congress, a south wing for the current House chamber and a north wing for the Senate were built. Both were completed in 1868, along with a new, larger dome.

The architect's office has been repairing decaying plaster throughout the building. It has also started preparations for a project to repair the 8.9 million pound, cast iron dome.

___

Associated Press writer Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Train goes to Kharkiv with crash victims remains

    Train goes to Kharkiv with crash victims remains

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:12:14 GMT
    A train bearing the bodies of the people who died in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday on their way to the Netherlands.
    A train bearing the remains of people who died in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday on their way to the Netherlands.
  • 11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:12:09 GMT
    About a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.
    About a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.
  • Norway honors victims of 2011 terror attacks

    Norway honors victims of 2011 terror attacks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:12:04 GMT
    Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says the best way to honor the 77 people who died in terror attacks three years ago is to "fight for openness, tolerance and diversity."
    Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says the best way to honor the 77 people who died in terror attacks three years ago is to "fight for openness, tolerance and diversity."