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Iraq Electrical Wiring Method Quiz #1

Posted August 19, 2008 By Ms Sparky

This wiring method was such a common occurrence used by Iraqi and Turkish subcontractors that I had totally forgotten about it until someone sent me a photo. I thought it would be fun to have a quiz. So…tell me what’s wrong with this installation!!

This is a standard 230 volt switched receptacle….It is equivalent of our 110 volt receptacles in the States.

Quiz rules:

In the comments section put your username in the username section. In the email section put Quiz1@mssparky.com (this will keep the comments hidden until I approve them) I will post the comments when I send out my next newsletter, approx 3-4 days, so sign up for my newsletters. I will put my answers in the comments as well.


Ms Sparky

(Note to bloggers and website owners-Help me get this word out. Please link to this post.)

I have been contacted by a National US news program that is looking for people who are willing to share their experiences about the electrical conditions in their camps. Electrician experience is always welcome but you don’t have to be an electrician to tell your story. If you were/are in the Military the producer knows how to deal with that as well?

Can you answer any of these questions?

  • Have you ever been shocked? Or did you know of anyone that was shocked?
  • Were you in any camp that reported an accidental electrocution death such has the death of Chris Everett or Ryan Maseth?
  • What condition was your electrical in? Was is “jerry rigged”?
  • Was KBR responsive to service orders or maintenance requests?
  • Did KBR ever leave an electrical shock hazard as “not repairable”?
  • Did your electricians complain about not having the right tools or material to make a repair?
  • Were your electricians Americans?
  • Did your electricians seem competent?
  • As an electrician, were you asked/forced to work outside of your classification/area of expertise?

You may think your information is insignificant. But it could be the one piece to the puzzle that is needed. There have been 100’s of thousands of people, civilian and military, in Iraq since 2003 and yet only a handful have come forward.

It’s time to tell your story. Please forward this post to former and current KBR employees and US Military in Iraq.

Either leave a comment or send an email to mssparky@mssparky.com and ask me to forward your information to the Producer.

Ms Sparky

KBR Video – A Must See

Posted August 5, 2008 By Ms Sparky

You watch and you decide.

The Tragedy Of Preventable Death

Posted August 4, 2008 By Ms Sparky

I do not understand why the Department of Defense is not getting it!!! Read on….

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial: Electrocutions
The tragedy of preventable death
August 4, 2008

The death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth in Iraq could have been prevented if the Army and a defense contractor had done their jobs.

Maseth, who grew up outside Pittsburgh, was electrocuted Jan. 2 while taking a shower in his quarters near Baghdad. A water pump that hadn’t been grounded properly sent electrical current through the pipes. A fellow soldier who discovered his body also was badly shocked.

The Army at first told Maseth’s grieving mother that her son had taken a small appliance into the shower.

That was false.

A congressional investigation has revealed that another soldier who had lived in the same quarters complained to the Army earlier about getting shocked in the shower. He said the current was so strong that he had to use a wooden stick to turn off the water.

The Army’s largest contractor, KBR, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton, installed a new pump, according to four work orders discovered by House investigators. But a few months later, Maseth was dead.

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) has been pushing the Pentagon hard for answers, with good reason. Maseth isn’t the only soldier electrocuted in Iraq. Since 2003, as many as 16 soldiers and contractors have died from electrocution. Electrical malfunctions also have resulted in nearly 300 fires, causing more injuries.

“Sixteen deaths do not make for isolated incidents or random occurrences; they constitute a pattern and are a genuine danger to our men and women serving in Iraq,” Casey testified at a hearing last week.

A Pentagon spokesman said not all of these deaths resulted from faulty wiring; eight of the victims accidentally came into contact with low-hanging electrical lines while on patrol away from their bases.

Still, the Pentagon and KBR have not satisfactorily explained why these deaths occurred, or how they intend to prevent more fatal accidents. KBR, which has collected more than $24 billion in war contracts since the invasion of Iraq began in 2003, points the blame at the Army. That’s a disturbing lack of accountability by a contractor that continues to receive billions from U.S. taxpayers in new wartime contracts.

The Defense Department is investigating, but it has also placed KBR in charge of a new round of safety inspections. That’s a bad idea, since the contractor was responsible for ensuring the safety of the facilities in the first place.

Former KBR electricians have testified about the lack of qualified workers to perform these jobs in Iraq, lack of tools and lack of adequate supervision. Defense Secretary Robert Gates should order that inspections be performed by certified U.S. government personnel.

Accidental deaths not related to combat are an unfortunate part of every war. But the Defense Department needs to reassure soldiers and their families that it is doing everything possible to prevent routine events from having tragic consequences.

Report appears to clear KBR in soldier’s death

Posted July 29, 2008 By Ms Sparky

This is the most recent AP news article on the Iraq Electrocutions. You read it and you tell me what you think. Here’s what I think…finally…..someone wrote one in favor of poor little ole KBR.

Report appears to clear KBR in soldier’s death
July 29, 2008 6:21 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) – An interim Defense Department report has found no evidence KBR was involved in the death of at least one U.S. soldier electrocuted in Iraq.

The inspector general’s report said while electrical systems in Iraq were known to “pose a hazard to personnel,” there is no evidence Houston-based KBR Inc. was aware of any life-threatening hazards at the Army barracks where Sgt. Ryan Maseth died.

Maseth, an Army Ranger and Green Beret from Pittsburgh, was electrocuted in January while showering.

Details of the IG report explain that an ungrounded water pump on the roof of Maseth’s barracks failed and electrified the water pipes. Additionally, a circuit breaker failed because tar from roof repairs appeared to have leaked into the panel. Read the remainder of this entry »