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David Cedergren-US Navy Archive

DOD IG Report on 17 Electrocution Deaths

Posted July 27, 2009 By Ms Sparky

Here is the DoD Inspector General Report Entitled “Review of Electrocution Deaths in Iraq:  Part II – Seventeen Incidents Apart from  Staff Sergeant Ryan D. Maseth, U.S. Army” dated July 24, 2009

Report No. IPO2009E001 .pdf 1.7 MB

You can also get it from the DoD IG website.

I have not had time to read this report, but here is a VERY brief summary based on media reports.

Nine of 18 electrocution deaths reported in Iraq were caused by “improper grounding or faulty equipment,” including the January 2008 death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, the Defense Department’s inspector-general found.

Investigations remain open in five of those cases, according to a summary of the report obtained by the AP.

As soon as I get more I will let you know.

Ms Sparky

Safety team warns of ‘catastrophic’ wiring in Iraq

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer – Wed Apr 8, 10:38 am ET

WASHINGTON – A military team sent to evaluate electrical problems at U.S. facilities in Iraq determined there was a high risk that flawed wiring could cause further “catastrophic results” — namely, the electrocutions of U.S. soldiers.

The team said the use of a required device, commonly found in American houses to prevent electrical shocks, was “patchy at best” near showers and latrines in U.S. military facilities. There also was widespread use of uncertified electrical devices and “incomplete application” of U.S. electrical codes in buildings throughout the war-torn country, the team found.

At least three U.S. service members have been electrocuted in Iraq while taking showers in the six years since the U.S.-led invasion of the country.

The highest-profile death was that of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, a Green Beret from Pittsburgh who was electrocuted while showering in his barracks early last year. Other troops and contractors have died or have been seriously injured in other electrical incidents.

A copy of the team’s Sept. 8 report to the then-commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, was obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a statement that he is disappointed the Pentagon did not share the report with Congress when it was completed. Casey said he’s been trying to get more answers about the electrical problems in the past year.

“This report from a U.S. military task force confirms my worst fears: a glaring pattern of shoddy application of relevant electrical codes, the absence of critical safeguards, and the lack of adequate oversight,” Casey said.

Since this report to Petraeus, Task Force SAFE in Iraq, which was created to deal with the electrical problems, began extensive inspections and repairs of wiring in about 90,000 U.S.-maintained facilities in Iraq. The Associated Press has reported previously that about a third of the inspections so far have turned up major electrical problems. Half of those problems have since been fixed, but about 65,000 facilities still must be inspected, the military has said.

The military has said it could be November before all the inspections are complete.

In a statement e-mailed to the AP, Dave Foster, an Army spokesman, said the service is committed to improving safety for U.S. troops.

“Even in austere, combat environments, the Army must focus on promoting a ‘culture of safety’ for all soldiers … civilians and contractors,” Foster said.

The safety team, based at the Army’s Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., was sent to Iraq late last summer. In addition to the use of uncertified electrical parts, the team cited “inconsistent enforcement of any standard, inconsistent and inadequate standards for using electrical devices, incomplete application of electrical codes and lack of thorough contractor oversight.”

The result, the team concluded, was “unmitigated electrical-related hazards” throughout Iraq, with improper bonding a “most pervasive” problem.

The report notes that ground fault circuit interrupters, commonly used in American homes, weren’t found in a large number of the facilities the team inspected. The interrupters are required in places where electrical circuits are in proximity to water sources. They are designed to measure electrical currents and shut off power to the circuit if necessary.

The report says the inconsistent use of the interrupters can lead to electrocution “when a ground fault occurs in the system and a human being comes into contact with that circuit.”

“Based upon past accident statistics, the team assessed the probability of this event occurring as ‘seldom,’ but when the event does occur, it is often with ‘catastrophic’ results,” the report said. “Therefore the team assessed the present risk as ‘high.’”

The problems described in the report went beyond shoddy wiring. The team said “ammunition, dirty laundry and other combustibles touching or in close proximity to potential electrical fire sources” created a high risk for troops in their living quarters.

It noted that contact with low-hanging and exposed wires has caused eight electrocutions. It recommended developing and implementing training that would help soldiers avoid this danger.

The report does not specifically name any military contractors but does say more oversight of contractors is needed. A majority of the U.S. facilities are maintained by Houston-based KBR Inc. Heather Browne, a KBR spokeswoman, said in a statement that safety is the company’s top priority.

“We have pledged full cooperation with the government on this issue and that will continue,” she said.

The other two U.S. service members identified as dying from electrocution while showering are Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class David A. Cedergren, 25, of South St. Paul, Minn., and Army Cpl. Marcos Nolasco, 34, of Chino, Calif. (Click HERE for original article)

The Death of Navy Petty Officer David Cedergren

Posted March 5, 2009 By Ms Sparky

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We are looking for more information regarding the death of Navy Petty Officer David Cedergren.

Below are excerpts from a February 2009 AP article. (Click HERE to read the entire article)

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class David A. Cedergren, 25, of Saint Paul, Minn., died Sept. 11, 2004, while showering at his base at Camp Iskandariyah, Iraq. His family was told he died of natural causes.

Late last year, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology changed the manner of Cedergren’s death to “accidental,” caused by electrocution and inflammation of the heart. The Naval Criminal Investigative Services has reopened an investigation into his death, Ed Buice, a NCIS spokesman, said Monday.

Cedergren—a medic—was found in an outdoor shower stall in Camp Iskandariyah, Iraq, not breathing and without a pulse.

Did KBR have the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) on this facility? They say no!! I say….I DON’T TRUST KBR!!!

If you have any information about ANY circumstances surrounding the death of David Cedergren click HERE to email me.

Ms Sparky

Have we forgotten about Sgt Anthony Woodham?

Posted February 9, 2009 By Ms Sparky

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The article from the Army Times below just came out! I am thrilled to see these cases reopened. Although they should have been investigated properly the first time, I will give them a second chance to get it right. BUT….what about Sgt 1st Class Anthony Woodham from Rogers, Arkansas? I don’t see his name on the list. Click HERE to read my post about Sgt Woodham shortly after he died in Iraq. His family still does not have answers. They deserve answers.

Army names 2 in reopened electrocution cases

By Matthew Cox – Staff writer
Posted : Monday Feb 9, 2009

Army criminal investigators have released the names of two soldiers involved in the three additional electrocution death cases that had been initially ruled as accidents.

The service’s Criminal Investigation Command reopened the cases of Spc. Chase R. Whitham and Sgt. Christopher Lee Everett in January along with a third soldier’s case, whose identity has not been released.

“The third soldier’s identification is not being released at this time due to notification of next of kin,” CID spokesman Chris Grey said in a statement Monday. “We have notified some family members that we have reopened the case, but are having trouble locating and notifying the primary next of kin who is out of the country at this time. This is not a new case.”

The Army announced the status change of the three additional cases Friday, which follow the reopening of the case of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, an Army Special Forces soldier who died Jan. 2, 2008, when he was electrocuted in his barracks shower in Baghdad.

In addition to these four Army cases, Naval Criminal Investigative Service has also reopened the probe into the Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF) David Cedergren, who died Sept. 11, 2004, in an outdoor shower at Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah, Iraq.

The five cases are among the 18 questionable electrocution deaths of troops that occurred between 2003 and 2008.

Results of Maseth’s investigation are not complete, but his family was notified in December that Maseth’s death, initially listed as “accidental,” was now considered “negligent homicide,” The Associated Press reported.

Army CID would not comment on this, saying that the investigation is still ongoing, Grey said.

Whitham, who was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, was electrocuted while swimming in a pool with other soldiers May 8, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq. His case was initially ruled as an accident in August 2004.

Everett, who was assigned to the Army Reserve’s B Company, 2nd Battalion, 112th Armor, was electrocuted while operating a power washer Sept. 8, 2005, in Tagaddum, Iraq. His case was initially ruled an accident in December 2005. (click HERE for original article)

Ms Sparky
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Sailor Electrocuted In Shower And Dies In Iraq

Posted February 2, 2009 By Ms Sparky

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AP NewsBreak: Sailor electrocuted

By KIMBERLY HEFLING Associated Press Writer
Posted: 02/02/2009

WASHINGTON—A third U.S. service member has been determined to have been electrocuted in a shower in Iraq, and Navy criminal investigators are investigating, The Associated Press has learned.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class David A. Cedergren, 25, of Saint Paul, Minn., died Sept. 11, 2004, while showering. His family was told he died of natural causes.

Late last year, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology changed the manner of Cedergren’s death to “accidental,” caused by electrocution and inflammation of the heart. The Naval Criminal Investigative Services has reopened an investigation into his death, Ed Buice, a NCIS spokesman, said Monday.

Cedergren’s death is among 18 electrocution deaths under review as part of a Department of Defense Inspector General inquiry. The inquiry primarily involves electrical work done at a facility where a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, of Pittsburgh, was electrocuted while showering in January 2008.

Sixteen of those who died were U.S. service members. Two were military contractors. Improperly installed or maintained electrical devices have been blamed in some of the deaths, while accidental contact with power lines has also been a cause in the electrocution deaths.

Cedergren—a medic—was found in an outdoor shower stall in Camp Iskandariyah, Iraq, not breathing and without a pulse.

His brother, Barry Cedergren, said his family initially suspected he’d been shocked because,according to reports shown to the family, witnesses told investigators that some service members had reported being shocked in the shower.

He said military investigators took a second look at the case after a request from former Republican Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman.

“We’re looking further into what our options are,” said Cedergren, of Ramsey, Minn.

Maseth’s death was initially considered accidental, but is now classified by Army investigators as “negligent homicide” caused by Houston-based contractor KBR Inc. and two of its supervisors. An Army investigator said the contractor failed to ensure that “qualified electricians and plumbers” did the work. The case is under legal review.

NCIS spokesman Buice said he could not comment on evidentiary issues such as who was maintaining the shower where Cedergren died. (Click HERE to read article)

Ms Sparky
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