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Iraq electrocutions higher than previously reported September 23, 2008

Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
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A September 9, 2008 AP article reveals that there have been at least 18 electrocutions in Iraq involving U.S. soldiers or civilian contractors. A May 28, 2008 CNN article on one such incident placed the number of soliders electrocuted at only 12.   As if soldiers and contractors didn’t have enough to worry about concerning the obvious dangers in Iraq.

As I have learned from a recent electrocution victim our firm is representing, electrocutions can result in any number of physical or neurological disorders as well as debilitating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

For more on electrocutions in Iraq, visit Ms. Sparky’s Mishaps and Misadventures a website from a former KBR electrician. Ms. Sparky (Debbie Crawford) recently testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on Soldier Electrocutions and seeks to bring attention to safety conditions in Iraq.  She is looking for former contractors and military personal to share their observations regarding electrical safety at camps/bases.

WASHINGTON — The number of U.S. troops and contractors electrocuted in Iraq is higher than previously reported, and now stands at 18, a senator said yesterday.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., issued a statement with the revised number after a briefing by the Pentagon’s inspector general’s office. The IG’s office has been investigating the death of a Green Beret from Pittsburgh’s Shaler suburb, Sgt. Ryan Maseth, who was electrocuted in January while showering in his barracks in Iraq.

Gary Comerford, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s IG, confirmed the department is reviewing investigations conducted by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and Criminal Investigation Command of 18 possible deaths.

Several of those cases have been deemed accidents because they involved situations such as coming into contact with power lines. Others resulted from situations where individuals were repairing air-conditioning units, providing generator maintenance or using a shower, according to the IG.

The IG’s office is also examining the military’s response in fixing the problem after the incidents.

Of those electrocuted, 16 were U.S. military personnel and two others were U.S. contractors, Mr. Casey’s office said. The military has previously put the tally at slightly lower than 18.

Casey also said as part of the investigation he was told the IG’s office is subpoenaing Houston-based military contractor KBR Inc., which holds a multibillion-dollar contract to provide basic services at facilities in Iraq for U.S. soldiers.

Read the entire article in context at: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08253/910620-100.stm

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