How Many People Died Building the Hoover Dam?

March 19, 2024

The story goes that during construction of the hoover dam many workers fell into the concrete and were trapped. The concrete just kept being poured and they were buried alive. This is a false claim and there are no records of any worker being buried during the five years it took to build the dam.

While it is true that there were some deaths during the construction of the dam, most sources cite 96 industrial fatalities which includes those who died from drowning, explosions, falling rocks or slides, falls from the canyon walls, struck by heavy equipment and other on-site accidents. Other figures cite 114 which include those who died from heart problems, pneumonia and other illnesses not directly related to construction of the dam.

During the construction of the hoover dam it was poured in blocks ranging from 25 feet wide to 60 feet wide. Concrete was delivered to each block in buckets that held eight cubic yards at a time. Five or six men called "Puddlers" would stamp and vibrate the concrete to pack it down. Each time a bucket was emptied the level of the concrete increased two to six inches. This made it very difficult to lose a person in the wet concrete.

It's important to note that the construction of the dam was completed during the Great Depression when unemployment was high and money was scarce. There were also a number of deaths due to the poor conditions on construction sites. Workers who lacked proper safety equipment or were exposed to toxic fumes were particularly vulnerable. This is why it is so important to do your research and check facts before believing any news article.


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