Fatal MRAP Accidents Prompt Warnings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
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Those huge, heavily armored vehicles that protect U.S. troops from roadside bombs and enemy bullets are vulnerable to such basic driving hazards as bad roads and sharp turns.

Called MRAPs, for "mine-resistant, ambush-protected," the half-million-dollar vehicles have suffered dozens of accidents, most commonly rollovers. Five people have been killed in them since last November.

In some cases, troops have been shocked when the vehicles snag low-hanging power lines.

The vehicles get high marks from commanders for protecting soldiers from enemy attack. Of the more than 7,000 built so far, only nine have been taken out of action because of battle damage.

The trucks are tall, heavy and have a raised chassis and V-shaped hulls to deflect explosions.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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