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Congressmen injured when vehicle flips in Iraq

A military vehicle carrying U.S. politicians overturned on the way to the Baghdad airport Saturday, injuring two congressmen, a fellow congressman traveling with them said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A military vehicle carrying three congressmen overturned on the way to the Baghdad airport, injuring two of them, the U.S. Embassy said Sunday.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., was airlifted to a military hospital in Germany for an MRI on his neck, and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., was sent to a Baghdad hospital for evaluation, said Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., who was also in the vehicle but was not hurt.

Calls to Skelton and Murphy on Sunday were not immediately returned, but Marshall’s spokesman Doug Moore said both suffered minor injuries.

The politicians were riding in a convoy that was driving in the middle of the road, a common practice used by the military in Iraq to deter oncoming motorists. Shortly after dark, an oncoming tanker truck refused to yield, the embassy said in a statement.

“Then all of a sudden brakes get slammed on. Then we hit something and go off the side of the road and tip over,” Marshall told The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph by phone from Baghdad.

Marshall said that as the vehicle toppled over, he held onto Skelton, who has limited use of his arms due to childhood polio. The embassy said the driver’s quick reaction “probably averted disaster.”

The delegation had traveled to Afghanistan for Thanksgiving with the troops and then on to Baghdad to meet with troops there.