Old Newspapers: Hyatt Regency Disaster

Everyone in this town knows about this, even people like me, who came here years after it happened.

The Hyatt Regency hotel walkway collapse was a collapse of a walkway that occurred on July 17, 1981, in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, killing 114 people and injuring 216 others during a tea dance. At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history.

Just a few pages from the Kansas City Times and Kansas City Star issues in the days after the accident (should be mostly readable if clicked).

  • My grandfather had been invited to the event that very night. However, he was unable to attend — he was babysitting me. 

    As fate would have it, my grandfather’s brother was a KCPD officer at that time (retired now), and was an early responder on the scene. However, to this day he won’t discuss any aspect of his experience that night. Apparently it was quite traumatic for him, and does not wish to relive any aspect of it whatsoever. 

  • That’s pretty common when people who lived through something horrible don’t feel like talking about it. That’s why true-to-life war memoirs are so rare.And the Hyatt thing was probably as traumatic as it gets.

  • Anne

    My mom and dad had been invited to go. We all had plans to go Colorado I was 6 at the time. When they find out what happened they drop everything and went back to kansas city. They knew 2 people that died there. To this day when i go in that building i get a chill. So sad.