Unsafe wiring in Iraq causing electrocutions

This post was made at another newsgroup, but I thought it would be
appropriate for this group. It appears that Iraqi electricians are
not doing the grounding correctly.
In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been
electrocuted in Iraq, according to the Pentagon and Congressional
investigators.
While several deaths have been attributed to inadvertent contact with
power lines under battlefield conditions, the Army bulletin said that
five deaths over the preceding year had apparently been caused by
faulty grounding, and the circumstances of others have not been fully
explained by the Army.
Many more soldiers have been injured by shocks, Pentagon officials
and
soldiers say.
The accidental deaths and close calls, which are being investigated
by
Congress and the Defense Department=92s inspector general, raise new
questions about the oversight of contractors in the war zone, where
unjustified killings by security guards, shoddy reconstruction
projects and fraud involving military supplies have spurred previous
inquiries.
American electricians who worked for KBR, the Houston-based defense
contractor that is responsible for maintaining American bases in Iraq
and Afghanistan, said they repeatedly warned company managers and
military officials about unsafe electrical work, which was often
performed by poorly trained Iraqis and Afghans paid just a few
dollars
a day.
One electrician warned his KBR bosses in his 2005 letter of
resignation that unsafe electrical work was =93a disaster waiting to
happen.=94
Another said he witnessed an American soldier in Afghanistan
receiving
a potentially lethal shock.
A third provided e-mail messages and other documents showing that he
had complained to KBR and the government that logs were created to
make it appear that nonexistent electrical safety systems were
properly functioning.
KBR itself told the Pentagon in early 2007 about unsafe electrical
wiring at a base near the Baghdad airport, but no repairs were made.
Less than a year later, a soldier was electrocuted in a shower there.
=93I don=92t feel like they did their job,=94 Carmen Nolasco Duran of La
Puente, Calif., said of Pentagon officials.
Her brother, Specialist Marcos O. Nolasco, was electrocuted at a base
in Baiji in May 2004 while showering.
=93They hired these contractors and yet they didn=92t go and double-check
that the work was fine.=94
=2E.........................................................................=
.=AD.......................
Keith Ernst, who stepped down Wednesday as the agency=92s director,
acknowledged, though, that the agency was =93stretched too thin=94 in
Iraq
and that the small number of contract officers did not have expertise
in dealing with so-called life support contracts, like that awarded
to
KBR to provide food, shelter and building maintenance.
=93We don=92t have the technical capability for overseeing life support
systems,=94 he said.
For its part, KBR, which until last year was known as Kellogg, Brown
and Root and was a subsidiary of Halliburton, denied that any lapses
by the company had led to the electrocutions of American soldiers.
=46rom The New York Times, 5/4/08:
formatting link

Despite Alert, Flawed Wiring Still Kills G.I.=92s
By JAMES RISEN
WASHINGTON =97
In October 2004, the United States Army issued an urgent bulletin to
commanders across Iraq, warning them of a deadly new threat to
American soldiers.
Because of flawed electrical work by contractors, the bulletin
stated,
soldiers at American bases in Iraq had received severe electrical
shocks, and some had even been electrocuted.
At a 173rd Airborne base in Shin Kay, Afghanistan, in 2005, an
outdoor, 200-ampere breaker panel, above, was uncovered and wired
from
the top.
Its exposure to water made it unsafe, said Jeffrey Bliss, an
electrician who worked for KBR, the military contractor.
Jeffrey Bliss, an electrician who worked for KBR, the military
contractor.
The bulletin, with the headline =93The Unexpected Killer,=94 was issued
after the horrific deaths of two soldiers who were caught in water =97
one in a shower, the other in a swimming pool =97 that was suddenly
electrified after poorly grounded wiring short-circuited.
=93We=92ve had several shocks in showers and near misses here in Baghdad,
as well as in other parts of the country,=94 Frank Trent, an expert
with
the Army Corps of Engineers, wrote in the bulletin.
=93As we install temporary and permanent power on our projects, we must
ensure that we require contractors to properly ground electrical
systems.=94
Since that warning, at least two more American soldiers have been
electrocuted in similar circumstances.
Reply to
Gerald Newton
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In article , Gerald Newt> This post was made at another newsgroup, but I thought it would be
[Snip]
This is nothing new. The father of a former colleague had a house provided by an oil company in Iraq in the 1960s. All the socket outlets were the two blade US style mains connectors.
'All' meant telephone, television aerial and mains.
Reply to
charles
This post was made at another newsgroup, but I thought it would be appropriate for this group. It appears that Iraqi electricians are not doing the grounding correctly.
In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq, according to the Pentagon and Congressional investigators.
While several deaths have been attributed to inadvertent contact with power lines under battlefield conditions, the Army bulletin said that five deaths over the preceding year had apparently been caused by faulty grounding, and the circumstances of others have not been fully explained by the Army. Snip....
Iraq is a cluster-fuck of the first magnitude. While it's easy to blame inept contractors, where is the oversight and management? Billions have gone missing and there is no end to problems in that massive debacle.
This war was very poorly been planed and organized with a prime purpose of making money for war profiteers but without any other real reason for being. The lack of planning, defined goals and a clear mission have led to the going on to six year disaster we now see.
The ultimate blame has to go to Bush and his inept administration. Not only did they get us into this mess, their total incompetence and lack of management capability has led to the electrocution issue mentioned but also to ten thousand other problems and fuck-ups from looting of the museums to Abu-Garib. If you elect incompetent ideologs and party hacks, you get incompetent results. Simple as that.
Even now they have no clue how long they will be there or what the actual mission is. The lack of planning, control and oversight continues. Nobody knows what the hell they are doing nor how long they will be doing it.
If Iraq is anything, it is a lesson on how NOT to run a war. Unfortunately we are probably too stupid to learn from this We didn't seem to learn from Vietnam either.
Reply to
Bob Eld

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