Officials Investigate 'T-wall' Collapse
By Army Staff Sgt. Chris Carney
Special to American Forces Press Service
BASRA, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2009 Some soldiers at a base in Basra, Iraq, awoke Nov. 28 to find that concrete barriers had tipped over during the night and had come to rest upon containerized housing units.
“No one was injured,” said Lt. Col. Steve Hanson, the mayor of Contingency Operating Base Basra. The incident is under investigation.
Between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., the concrete barriers, also known as T-walls, fell onto four different housing units in the 34th Infantry Division’s living area.
T-walls are 17-feet-tall, prefabricated, reinforced concrete barriers that provide protection from indirect fire. Recent rainy weather may have contributed to the toppling of the handful of T-walls, Hanson said.
“Initial indications show that T-walls may have risen due to trenches that were dug recently to bury underground electrical cable,” he said. “The ground was softened due to the digging, as well as the soil composition that was further weakened by the rain.”
Commanders and first sergeants are reviewing T-wall placements around the base to determine any risk of similar occurrences of tipping. If soldiers are found to be at risk they’ll be moved to a safe area, officials said.
(Army Staff Sgt. Chris Carney works with the 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)