Workers had been dying at a rate of one every six weeks -- 12 deaths in 18 months -- until contractors made sweeping safety improvements after the Las Vegas Sun revealed that poor safety practices and lax oversight by state regulators had contributed to the fatalities. Before the story, construction safety had been a non-issue in Las Vegas. The deaths were considered the cost of doing business in a $32 billion building boom, the biggest in Las Vegas history. High-rise construction is dangerous, authorities said. Contractors and state regulators blamed many of the accidents on the dead workers themselves. This investigation found those arguments were "plainly wrong."