The Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse | Fascinating Horror



At 7:00pm on the 17th of July, 1981, more than 1,000 people were gathered in the atrium of the Hyatt Regency Kansas City Hotel for a tea dance, when a structural failure occurred. Two skywalks which crossed the lobby collapsed, crashing down onto the revellers below. The incident would cause the greatest loss of life from a structural collapse in American history, only ever to be superseded – 20 years later – by the destruction of New York City’s World Trade Centre.

I tell the true stories behind some of history’s greatest disasters… but without sensationalism or disturbing imagery. Fascinating Horror is all about in-depth research, respectful storytelling, and learning what we can from the mistakes of the past. You might be surprised to discover just how much of today’s world is shaped by long-forgotten disasters from decades gone by.

Music: “Glass Pond” by Public Memory

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CORRECTION: At one point in this video I use the word “psychic”. In fact, “psychological” would have been the more appropriate word to use in this context.

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38 Comments
  1. I'm assuming "makeshift morgue" was at best the third or fourth worst exhibit to ever be seen in a hotel exhibition hall in Kansas City.

  2. I was at a tea dance at the HR SanFrancisco that same evening. LOVED those dances 💃

  3. Years ago I attended a conference at the Sheraton in Crown Center in KC. Was on the 3rd floor and needed to walk to the other side of the building. Was kind of wondering why there was no direct way across the lobby. That's when it hit me. I lived in Missouri at the time and was old enough to remember the Hyatt Regency. Had a very weird feeling for the rest of the time there.

  4. No-one thought that the 2nd floor bridge would basically be suspended from the 4th floor? Really?

  5. Why are we perfectly capable of learning from technical mistakes but apparently not when it comes to politics?

  6. The least the engineers could have done was to strengthen the box girder ends where the rods were secured.
    I dare say that even to the untrained eye, suspending structures like this doesn't look good.

  7. What’s “claps?” I thought it was an STD!

  8. I remember going to events at this hotel years afterwards. They never rebuilt the walkways, so everything looked completely different, but it was still macabre walking across that lobby where so many people died.

  9. the box beam also had a major factor in the collapse had those beams been reversed into an I shape rather than a box shape they would have had far more structural integrety but the hotel demanded a box shape instead as it was more aesthetically pleasing. Basically it was two beams not one combined to make a box [ ] but the original design had ][ and that also contributed

  10. My dad does quality control for commercial construction and the corners some companies want cut are absolutely terrifying.

  11. The sign said “Tea Dances every Friday from 5-8” and I can’t imagine being dressed and ready for a dance by 5pm in today’s society…most of us don’t even get off work until then. Different times.

  12. As the water was rising and the victims where in danger of drowning, some dude jumped into a construction machine and destroyed the glass front of the building, allowing the water to escape, thus saving multiple trapped victims. …iirc

  13. One of the cases we discussed when I took Engineering Ethics in pursuit of my BS in Mechanical Engineering.

  14. I have been to a hotel called the Hyatt Regency Center and I was really confused by all this. Turns out there are several hotels with that name across the US. Why they wouldn't steer away from that name in the wake of this disaster I'll never know.

  15. A medal and a pint to all those heroes in hard hats!

  16. So itd be like have 1 motor working at 100 % capacity as opposed to 2 at 50%

  17. I would rather die than endure an ON SITE amputation😐

  18. Oh the issues didn't go unnoticed. People noticed, they just didn't care. They put money and profit over literally everything else, and guests suffered as a result.

  19. I never join a large crowd on a platform, balcony, ledge, lookout etc… There are hundreds of these stories, recent ones too. I'm a boring safety freak..but I'll likely be a long-lived boring safety freak.

  20. You should make a video about the Sampoong Mall collapse on June 29, 1995. 502 people were killed and 937 were injured. 😢😢

  21. I don't mean to sound rude or ignorant but WHAT IS the MEMORIAL? It looks to me like just some randomly twisted metal. Is it supposed to be a certain figure? On another note, as someone else mentioned, NEVER RUSH construction. My husband is finishing up building a swanky hotel on Isle of Palms in SC. He's an electrician and electricity is something you want right. Along with EVERY OTHER part of the building. This proves that too much, too fast, no communication is deadly.

  22. If you look at all of the deaths caused directly and indirectly by men, you will see what the problem with this planet is.

  23. Men who think they are so smart…architects and engineers…are not so smart.

  24. It’s so refreshing to see those responsible actually changing. Most of the time they blame the victims.
    Edit:NEVERMIND. Just the ONE engineer deserves respect.

  25. Everyone knew at least one victim? I'm from KC, I remember this happening-and I didn't know anyone. 111 dead and 188 injured is horrible, but out of 2.1M people in the metro area that's not a large percentage.

  26. Work at a Hyatt House just built and opened two weeks before I started, always think about the Hyatt Regency every time I hear the elevators creak

  27. Standards are being lowered now, gotta get those D&I candidates in.

  28. i remember watching the seconds to disaster episode about this, one of the survivors was almost killed by rescuers because they were standing directly where he was buried they were drilling right on top of him, if they didn't hear his screams in time he would have been killed…

  29. I just discovered your channel. I watched a couple videos, then this one popped up. I lived two hours from Kansas City when this happened, so of course I had to watch it. I was 14, and I remember stories being all over the news for quite a long time.

    By the way, you have a new subscriber.

  30. Another lesson written by blood.

  31. To be fair, it was supposed to be a walkway, as in something you walk across. They didn't account for them being packed with idiots actually dancing on them.

  32. is this kansas city kansas or kansas city missouri? two different cities but right next to each other.

  33. i still consider that the most deadly collapse because it wasnt planned like 9/11 so its collapse is more likely

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