Physics 101- Introduction to Mechanics
February 13- Newton's Laws






  Kansas City Hyatt Regency Disaster

On July 17, 1981 guests at the brand new Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City witnessed a catastrophe.  Approximately 2000 people were gathered to watch a dance contest in the hotels state of the art lobby.  While the majority of the guests were on the ground level, some were dancing on the floating walkways on the second, third and fourth levels.  At about 7:05 pm a loud crack was heard as the suspended walkways collapsed onto the ground level. This disaster took the lives of 114 people and left over 200 injured. 

Here are some sketches for what the walkway designs looked like:

This is the intended design-

This is the actual design-

Admittedly, the differences are subtle, but unfortunately, they are also fatal.

Original design of the walkway supports.  There was to be one continuous rod that connected the fourth, third and second floor walkways.

Actual design showing the supports on one of the walkways.  Notice that the continuous rod is no longer used.


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Jeff Phillips
Loyola Marymount University
Spring 2002