San Francisco, CA Golden Gate Bridge Construction Accident Kills Ten, Feb 1937

First Major Accident

The spectacular crash was the first major accident on the bridge which spans the Golden Gate from San Francisco to the scenic and agricultural north coast.

Heretofore only one life had been lost during the construction.

Bridge officials said the failure of a wheel on a trolley carrier system acted with a trigger-like effect to start the ripping away of framework.

All witnesses and authorities agreed that the nine missing men had virtually no chance of survival.

The missing men were listed as Chris Anderson, William Bass, James Hillen, Terrance Halliman, Charles Lindera, Jack Norman, Noel Flowers or Louis Russell, or O. Dester and C. A. Anderson.

Macon Telegraph, Macon, GA 18 Feb 1937


Of eleven men killed from falls during construction, ten were killed on February 17, 1937, when the bridge was near completion when the net failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen. According to Travel Channel's Monumental Mysteries, the workers platform that was attached to a rolling hanger on a track collapsed when the bolts that were connected to the track were too small and the amount of weight was too great to bear. The platform fell into the safety net, but was too heavy and the net gave way. Two out of the twelve workers survived the 200-foot fall into the icy waters, including the 37-year-old foreman, Slim Lambert. Nineteen others who were saved by the net over the course of construction became members of their Half Way to Hell Club.