Perform Failure Analysis
On July 17, 1981 a dance party at the Kansas
City Hyatt Regency Hotel turned into a tragedy when a fourth-floor overhead
walkway packed with revelers collapsed and fell onto a second-floor walkway
full of people causing both to fall onto the main floor of party-goers.
The third floor walkway shown in the picture was offset from the others
and avoided a similar fate. In all, 114 people died, and over 200 more
were injured. Investigators using knowledge of solid mechanics analyzed
the structural failure and traced the cause to overloaded walkway hangers.
Such knowledge can be used to prevent similar accidents in the future.