Hyatt Regency Hotel Engineering Disaster of 1981

In the past several decades, this science of engineering was broken down into many branches of study such as structural engineering, transportation engineering, hydraulic engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and so forth.Nevertheless, the most important task of civil engineering is the design and planning of various structures. For this reason, it is of great importance that the strengths and weaknesses of the structures, as well as the impact of the outside driving forces, should be carefully examined and analyzed to minimize the severity of the damage potential. It should also be never forgotten that even small details omitted or neglected might lead to extremely serious or even fatal accidents if professional care is not taken.In this context, this paper reviews a case study to illustrate the facts and focuses on the failures as well as lessons learned in the aftermath of a tragic engineering disaster that occurred on July the 17th, 1981 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City- Missouri, USA.Inside the atrium, there were three walkways that connected the hotel to the conference facilities on the second, third, and fourth floors. (Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel Walkway Collapse). The third and fourth-floor walkways were each suspended from the roof trusses of the atrium, while the second-floor walkway was suspended from the fourth-floor walkway.Nearly one year after the completion, more than 2.000 people came together in the Hyatt Regency Hotel to participate in and watch a weekly dance competition. Shortly after the dance, a loud crack resulting from the failure between the supporting steel rods and the beam of the fourth-floor walkway was heard. This was indeed a sign of a severe disaster which would shortly result in a loss of more than 100 people inside the hotel. Thus, two of the walkways holding quite a bit of the guest on the second and fourth floors collapsed on the atrium floor.