Shipping box used to plug border wall gap topples over…
Workers stack shipping containers to serve as a makeshift wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in an area of Arizona where there’s a gap between the permanent wall. Photo courtesy Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey/Twitter
Aug. 17 (UPI) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey‘s $6 million plan to plug gaps in the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border with shipping containers is off to an embarrassing start after one of the 8,800-pound containers toppled over.
Ducey ordered state workers last week to place 60 double-stacked containers at the border near Yuma, where officials fear the containment gap could lead to illegal migrant crossings.
The 1,000-foot section that’s being plugged by the shipping containers was welded together and topped with razor wire.
Ducey touted the completion of the first gap by tweeting several photos showing workers arranging the containers with industrial-size chains and heavy equipment.
« These 9-by-40-feet containers are linked together, welded shut and not budging! » he wrote in the post on Monday.
Behind the scenes of the 8,800-pound shipping containers fortifying Arizona’s southern border near Yuma. These 9-by-40-feet containers are linked together, welded shut and not budging! pic.twitter.com/LAkhtdQ8Um— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) August 15, 2022
That same day, a correspondent with Univision shared a photo to social media that showed one of the shipping containers had been toppled and was laying on its side on the ground.
The U.S. Border Patrol had notified Ducey’s office Sunday night that the shipping containers were not fully secured. There was some speculation that weather might have caused the container to fall.
Ducey’s office, however, suspects sabotage. He noted that the felled section hadn’t been bolted down.
« We clearly struck a nerve, » Ducey spokesperson C.J. Karamargin said according to KTVK-TV.
« Someone doesn’t like what we’re doing. Someone obviously doesn’t like the obstacles we are putting in their way. »
By Wednesday, the massive steel container was back upright — but construction experts say the makeshift sections can be vulnerable if they’re not properly welded together.
« The gauge on the steel is not the thickest in the world, anyone with a little elbow grease and a torch would blow right through it, and they’re not the heaviest things in the world either when they’re empty, » contractor Luke Crosthwaite said according to KPNX-TV.
« Anyone who has fabrication knowledge can definitely get through these things. »
Arizona officials have been focused on closing gaps along the state’s border with Mexico to funnel migrants to official ports of entry.
There are three gaps in the border wall, which began construction when former President Donald Trump was in office but is not yet entirely finished. The federal government said last month that it will fill the gaps, but that project has not yet begun.
Ducey’s office said President Joe Biden’s decision last week to formally end Trump’s « Remain in Mexico » policy is the reason why the state is using temporary materials to plug the holes. The policy had forced migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are processed.