WASHINGTON — A Henderson man who worked for a State Department contractor has been electrocuted while showering in Baghdad even as U.S. authorities in Iraq try to remedy bathhouse wiring problems that have led to the deaths of U.S. troops there.
Adam Hermanson, a former Air Force staff sergeant who had worked in security operations at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, died Sept. 1, his wife, Janine, said Tuesday.
She added that a military medical examiner told her that preliminary findings indicate her husband died from low voltage electrocution.
Electrical wiring has been an ongoing problem in Iraq. At least three people have been electrocuted in the shower since the start of the Iraq War. Inspections and repairs are under way at 90,000 U.S.-maintained facilities there.
Hermanson grew up in Las Vegas and San Diego. He joined the military at age 17, and did three tours in Iraq with the Air Force before leaving at the rank of staff sergeant. He returned to Iraq as an employee of the Herndon, Va.-based private contractor Triple Canopy.
Jayanti Menches, a spokeswoman for Triple Canopy, said in an e-mail that the company was saddened by his death but would not be commenting further until an inquiry was done.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood also offered condolences to the family but would not elaborate further on the cause of death, pending the investigation.
Janine Hermanson said her husband took the contracting job so they would have money to buy a house in Muncy, Pa., where they were planning to live. She said she had already moved there and was living with her parents.
The two would have celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on Sunday.
"He was supposed to come back, and we had a lot of plans," said his wife, who also served in Iraq with the Air Force.
Besides three Iraq tours, Adam Hermanson served in Uzbekistan with the Air Force. His mother, Patricia Hermanson, 53, of Las Vegas, said everyone in her family was struggling to understand how he could survive four war tours, then die suddenly.
"We all know that Adam was as strong as a tank," she said. "He was in good health."