How Many People Died Building the Panama Canal?

Gonzalo Azumendi/The Image Bank/Getty Images

According to PanCanal, it is possible that upwards of 22,000 people died building the Panama Canal. According to hospital records, 5,609 died of diseases and accidents and of these, 4,500 were West Indian workers.

A total of 350 white Americans died during the construction of the Panama canal. The actual worker death during the French construction period of the canal is unknown as the French only recorded deaths at hospitals, which were a small percentage of the total.

The total cost to construct the Panama Canal was $375 million, including $10 million paid to Panama and $40 million paid to the French Canal Company for the rights to build the canal.