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British veteran joins W.Va. National Guard lawsuit

Staff writer The Charleston Gazzette
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In an amended complaint filed Thursday in federal court in West Virginia’s Northern District, Andrew M. Tosh, 44, of Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, maintains that officials with KBR Inc. knew about dangerous levels of sodium dichromate, a potent carcinogen, at the Qarmat Ali water-treatment plant months before they informed American and British troops guarding the facility.

As part of Operation RIO in 2003, members of the West Virginia National Guard’s 1092nd Engineer Battalion, Guard units from Indiana and Oregon and British troops helped guard the plant while civilian contractors repaired the facility, which provided water pumped to the oil fields to create the pressure needed to extract oil from the ground.

Sodium chromate, a known carcinogen, was used to keep the pipes from rusting.

KBR, a Texas-based offshoot of Halliburton, was awarded billions of dollars of no-bid contracts in Iraq. The company has denied wrongdoing in the incident.

“We now know that the dusty rust-colored substance at Qarmat Ali was extraordinarily dangerous. Whilst afraid for my own long-term health and that of the numerous other RAF Regiment troops I served with in Iraq, I believe KBR management misled the militaries of the U.S. and the U.K. Too many of the men who served at Qarmat Ali were sick whilst there or became ill later. This cannot be coincidental,” Tosh said in a prepared statement.

The lawsuit accuses KBR of allowing military and civilian personnel to continue to work at the plant, where the toxic dust was 4 feet deep in places.

For full story go to The Charleston Gazzette


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Posted by on Feb 5 2010. Filed under Local Newspapers, Qarmat Ali News, The Charleston Gazette. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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