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’s 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 “a disaster waiting to happen.”
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.
“I don’t feel like they did their job,” 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.
“They hired these contractors and yet they didn’t go and double-check that the work was fine.”
...........................................................................­.......................
Keith Ernst, who stepped down Wednesday as the agency’s director, acknowledged, though, that the agency was “stretched too thin” 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.
“We don’t have the technical capability for overseeing life support systems,” 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.
From The New York Times, 5/4/08: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/world/middleeast/04electrocute.html ...
Despite Alert, Flawed Wiring Still Kills G.I.’s
By JAMES RISEN
WASHINGTON —
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 “The Unexpected Killer,” was issued after the horrific deaths of two soldiers who were caught in water — one in a shower, the other in a swimming pool — that was suddenly electrified after poorly grounded wiring short-circuited.
“We’ve had several shocks in showers and near misses here in Baghdad, as well as in other parts of the country,” Frank Trent, an expert with the Army Corps of Engineers, wrote in the bulletin.
“As we install temporary and permanent power on our projects, we must ensure that we require contractors to properly ground electrical systems.”
Since that warning, at least two more American soldiers have been electrocuted in similar circumstances.
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In article

[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.
--
From KT24 - in "Leafy Surrey"

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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.
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