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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "construction" ...

  • 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.
  • Bribery Division

    The Bribery Division, an international investigation into Latin America’s largest construction company, reveals fresh evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious payments linked to major infrastructure projects. Brazilian multinational Odebrecht has been implicated in a cash-for-contracts scandal that the U.S. Department of Justice has described as “the largest foreign bribery case in history.” The Bribery Division investigation unveils dramatic new information in taking readers inside the belly of the beast: Odebrecht’s Division of Structured Operations, a specialized unit created for the primary purpose of managing the company’s graft. A team of more than 50 journalists across the Americas, led by ICIJ, examined more than 13,000 Odebrecht documents from a secret communication platform used by the Structured Operations unit. The team’s sprawling expose revealed Odebrecht’s cash-for-contracts operation was even bigger than the company had acknowledged to prosecutors and had involved prominent figures and massive public works projects not mentioned in the criminal cases or other official inquiries to date.
  • "The Costs of the Confederacy" / "Monumental Lies"

    Reporters Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler, along with a team of Type Investigations researchers, spent more than a year investigating public funding for sites—monuments, statues, parks, libraries, museums—and Confederate “heritage” organizations that promote an inaccurate “Lost Cause” version of American history. According to scholars, that ideology distorts the nation’s collective past by venerating Confederate leaders and the common Confederate soldier; framing of the Civil War as a struggle for Southern states’ rights against “northern aggression”; denying Southern culpability and slavery itself for any role in precipitating the war; and presenting chattel slavery as a humane, Christianizing institution. This is more than mere Confederate myth-making, it is a century-and-half old strategy that was historically deployed to terrorize and disenfranchise African American citizens and to reinstall white supremacy across the South in the wake of Reconstruction. The historic sites that perpetuate these myths have been central to racial violence in recent years, from the Dylann Roof shooting at the AME Zion Church — he had visited Confederate sites before his attack — to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, centered around the defense of a Confederate monument.
  • The Killing Rooms of Mosul

    Mosul’s reconstruction – investigating the continued impact of the worst urban fighting since the Second World War. We wanted to measure the scale of the devastation in Mosul’s Old City and understand what the residents were still going through nine months after the fighting had ended. What we found was a traumatized city with dead bodies still rotting in the open, and buildings containing terrible secrets of violence, death, and possible un-investigated war crimes.
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaws

    Kentucky's worker safety program failed to properly investigate nearly every on-the-job death for two years. The victims were tree trimmers, public-works employees, construction workers, home health aides. They died in jobs everyone knows to be dangerous and in jobs you might attend every day without considering whether you'd make it home. But in almost every case, the state's Occupational Safety and Health program didn't do enough to determine if a business was responsible for unsafe conditions — never mind actually hold them accountable.
  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Luxuries on public dime

    Based on public financial records obtained through an FOI request, a Belleville News-Democrat investigation found that more than $230,000 was spent on a taxpayer-supported American Express card over four years used by East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton. He used the card to buy construction materials, take Las Vegas trips, purchase gas for his private vehicle, and buy dinners and gifts for political friends. Hamilton pleaded guilty to federal charges for misusing public funds.
  • Accounting for Terror

    As terrorism shook the Western world in 2016, The Wall Street Journal investigated an area largely unexamined in the public furor over repeated attacks: the money trail. In a yearlong series, “Accounting for Terror,” a team of Journal reporters followed the money—in one case, literally. The stories illuminated an invisible foundation of ISIS and other terrorist groups: the economic engines that support their reign of murder and violence. The Journal obtained secret ISIS documents describing the terror group’s construction of a multinational oil operation obsessed with maximizing profits. It showed how some suspects in the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks collected welfare benefits until just before they acted. And it detailed how an iconic American food producer of Butterball turkeys has done millions of dollars of business in Africa with a company blacklisted by U.S. authorities for supporting terrorism.
  • To Build a Home: The Navajo Housing Tragedy

    Arizona Republic staffers Craig Harris, Dennis Wagner and Michael Chow spent more than a year examining how one tribe - the Navajo Nation - could receive more than $1 billion in federal funds for homes, yet have a massive housing crisis amid a generation of wasteful spending, construction blunders and a stockpiling of funds.