Stardust III (After)

In the shadows of the cranes, steel, and concrete upon which Las Vegas has pinned its addiction to growth, a body count has emerged.

Las Vegas has always flourished through growth. But never before has booming construction on the Strip taken such a toll in lives.

The 12 construction deaths in less than 19 months exceed the total reported for the entire 1990s building boom.

A family member took this photo of David Rabun Jr. about a week before he died in November. He had complained to his father that the job site was crowded and the work moved too fast. “He wanted to stay there, because of the overtime.”

Notice: This image is NOT a still taken from Todd Haynes’ SAFE!

George Cole, Harold Billingsley’s brother-in-law, talks with Billingsley’s sisters, Simonne Purdy and Jacqueline Justin, as they remember the ironworker who fell to his death at the CityCenter site last year.

A journeyman carpenter died Monday morning [June 16] at the Echelon construction site on the Las Vegas Strip.

Lyndal Bates, 49, of Tempe, Ariz., became the 12th worker to die in a construction accident on the Strip in less than 19 months. It is the first fatality at Echelon, a $4.8 billion multitowered Boyd Gaming project, where work began a year ago.

Bates was an employee of Marnell Corrao Associates, the general contractor of Echelon Tower, the main hotel.

Bates started his shift at 5 Monday morning. Officials say he was dismantling scaffolding at the basement level of Echelon Tower, working about 12 feet in the air, and had tied his safety harness to a piece of scaffolding. When he detached that same piece of scaffolding, he was pulled off and hit his head on the ground, officials said.

The Fire Department was called at 7:20 a.m.

Echelon Place is Boyd Gaming Corporation’s replacement for the Stardust Resort & Casino; its March 13, 2007 demolition marked the youngest undamaged high-rise building to ever be demolished.

For further reference: Las Vegas Sun Topic: Construction Deaths.


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