Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse

On July 17, 1981, the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, suffered the structural collapse of two overhead walkways. Loaded with partygoers, the concrete and glass platforms cascaded down, crashing onto a tea dance in the lobby, killing 114 and injuring 216. Kansas City society was affected for years, with the collapse resulting in billions of dollars of insurance claims, legal investigations and city government reforms.

The Hyatt had been built just a few years before, during a nationwide pattern of fast-tracked large construction with reduced oversight and major failures. Its roof had partially collapsed during construction, and the ill-conceived skywalk design progressively degraded due to a miscommunication loop of corporate neglect and irresponsibility.