112 people died building the Hoover Dam. The first guy to die drowned while looking for the best place to build the dam. The last guy to die was his son, who died during construction exactly 13 years later to the day
“There were 112 deaths associated with the construction of the dam.
Included in that total was J. G. Tierney, a surveyor who drowned on
December 20, 1922, while looking for an ideal spot for the dam. He is
generally counted as the first man to die in the construction of Hoover
Dam. His son, Patrick W. Tierney, was the last man to die working on the
dam’s construction, 13 years to the day later. Ninety-six of the deaths occurred during construction at the site.
Of the 112 fatalities, 91 were Six Companies employees, three were BOR
employees, and one was a visitor to the site, with the remainder
employees of various contractors not part of Six Companies.
Not included in the official fatalities number were deaths that were recorded as pneumonia. Workers alleged that this diagnosis was a cover for death from carbon monoxide
poisoning, brought on by the use of gasoline-fueled vehicles in the
diversion tunnels, and a classification used by Six Companies to avoid
paying compensation claims. The site’s diversion tunnels frequently reached 140 °F (60 °C), enveloped in thick plumes of vehicle exhaust gases.
A total of 42 workers were recorded as having died from pneumonia; none
were listed as having died from carbon monoxide poisoning. No deaths of
non-workers from pneumonia were recorded in Boulder City during the