Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "collapse" ...

  • Hard Rock Hotel Collapse

    When an 18-story hotel under construction collapsed catastrophically on a Saturday morning in October, we immediately began trying to understand what went wrong. Initially, this involved sharing video of the collapse with experts to seek opinions about possible causes. In the days and weeks that followed, we spoke with workers who were on the job and reviewed building plans and inspection reports to determine where missteps were made. We also uncovered a video, narrated in Spanish by a worker on the site, that was posted several days before the collapse, in which the worker spotlights a number of alarming flaws in the building.
  • NYT Mag: From Arizona to Yemen - The Journey of an American Bomb

    In one narrative feature, rendering the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe on a small, personal scale, in order to make it feel relevant, tactile, and immediate to western readers. The hope was to collapse the distance and let Western readers feel what it was like to be the victim of an airstrike in Yemen, and to be a patient in hospital deprived of resources by a blockade. We wanted the crisis to feel familiar and close, rather than distant and exotic. By investigating the provenance of a bomb used and telling the story of its journey from an American assembly line to the planes above people we’d come to care about, showing readers how intertwined their own lives are with the lives of Yemenis.
  • Miami Herald: FIU Bridge

    On March 15, an under-construction, 174-foot-long concrete pedestrian bridge collapsed on a busy road next to Florida International University's campus. Five people who by a cruel twist of fate happened to be driving under the bridge were instantly crushed to death. In addition, a worker standing on top of the structure, a joint project managed by both FIU and the state of Florida, was killed in the collapse. Several more people were injured. Herald reporters immediately rushed to the scene to report on the stunning accident. Following the initial coverage, a team of reporters worked for the rest of the year -- fighting for public records all the way -- to uncover why the bridge had fallen, who had oversight of the taxpayer-funded project, why the road below it remained open during crucial structural work and the impact on the families of the dead.
  • Baltimore Sun: University of Maryland football scandal

    University of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heatstroke in June, weeks after he collapsed during football practice. His death sent shockwaves through the university community, eventually causing the president to be forced out, the football coach to be fired and the board of regents chairman to resign. We strove to investigate the circumstances of the student's death and how the university handled the subsequent fallout.
  • Hollow Columns

    At least 22 highway bridges in Washington state sit on hollow concrete columns that are at risk of instantaneous implosion in a major earthquake. The state doesn’t know how to fix them. In addition, the state knows of 474 bridges that are at risk of crumbling in a big quake. The state has insufficient funds to fix them. Highways that are part of the Puget Sound region’s “seismic lifeline” emergency aid routes were found by KUOW to contain dozens of seismically vulnerable bridges. The state does not publish the totality of its infrastructure needs, in contrast to its seismic cousin California. Until KUOW published a map showing the locations of the endangered bridges, no such public information was available.
  • Lax building inspections, lurking danger

    When a building collapsed in Center City Philadelphia, killing six people and injuring 13, attention quickly focused on the reckless demolition contractor who cut corners in taking down the building. Then it shifted to the city agency charged with overseeing demolitions and ensuring safety. Chagrined city officials pledged safety reforms and stepped up enforcement. An Inquirer investigation revealed just how empty those promises were and documented dangerous conditions in buildings across the city.
  • Unprepared

    Unprepared was a multi-platform series, culminating in a broadcast documentary, that examined Oregon's failure to prepare for the known risk of a major earthquake. Reporters conducted hundreds of interviews, accessed government documents and built their own databases in a year-long effort that exposed many inadequacies in current seismic preparedness and the state’s lagging response. http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-coastal-towns-cease-to-exist/ http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/episodes/2701/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-bridges-collapse/ http://www.opb.org/aftershock/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/oregons-seismic-achilles-heel/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/unprepared-schools-and-hospitals-at-risk/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/seismically-vulnerable-bridges-in-oregon/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-14-gallons-water/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/living-off-your-quake-kit-weekend-wrap-up/ http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/earthquake-what-holds-us-back-from-being-prepared-for-a-disaster/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/new-hospital-planned-in-tsunami-zone/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/unprepared-towns-along-coast-manage-tsunami-risk-in-different-ways/
  • Seat Back Failures

    Even if you bought a car with a five-star safety rating, if you're hit from behind, your seat may not protect you or the children sitting behind you. Experts say in certain crashes, some car seats can break and collapse, leading to paralysis or death. Kris Van Cleave reveals the findings of the investigation.
  • FEGS Investigation

    These stories by Josh Nathan-Kazis investigated the causes behind the collapse of FEGS, one of the largest social service charities in the country.
  • Investigation of charter school operator

    For years, Dr. Michael Sharpe was among the most prominent charter school leaders in Connecticut, collecting millions of dollars from lawmakers eager to embrace school reform, and harboring big plans to expand his already growing empire beyond the state’s borders. Today, that empire has collapsed, following deep and aggressive reporting by a team of Hartford Courant reporters who revealed that Sharpe had a felony conviction for financial fraud, had no doctoral degree despite calling himself “Dr.,” had misused state grant money and had turned his Jumoke Academy charter school into a den of nepotism and financial conflicts of interest. As the stories unfolded, Sharpe and his entire leadership team were forced out, and investigations were launched by the state Department of Education and the FBI, which is currently presenting evidence to a federal grand jury.