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The Deadliest Construction Accident In U.S. History Happened Right Here In West Virginia

West Virginia became a great state through the rise of industry, but sometimes those industrial projects have come at a great cost. One tragic story happened on Willow Island on the Ohio River near Belmont, West Virginia. The accident was likely the deadliest construction disaster in the history of the United States.

OSHA cited Willow Island contractors for 20 safety violations. The cases were settled for $85,500, or about $1,700 per worker killed. Although a criminal investigation also took place, ultimately no criminal charges were filed. A monument now stands to honor the dead.

Here’s a video with more information about the tragic accident.

For another disaster in West Virginia, read about the Buffalo Creek Flood that took out several towns after the collapse of a makeshift dam.

Rachel Whetstone
Rachel is proud to live in wild and wonderful West Virginia. She enjoys nature walks, photography, and discovering new restaurants all around the state.