The Hyatt Regency Hotel had a rather unique design feature when it was unveiled to the public. There was an open central court that connected the second, third, and fourth levels through suspended walkways, with the fourth floor promenade directly above the second. This created a delightfully clever appearance that inspired the mind and provided excellent photographs for travel agency brochures. Sure, there was an occasional creaking sound from the steel tie rods, but the structural engineers assured the hotel owners that this was completely normal.
On one fateful day in July, nearly 2,000 people mobbed the atrium in order to watch a dance contest down below. The overcrowded walkways started to shift from the enormous weight, and before anyone knew it, the girders failed and sent the multitudes falling. 112 men and women would perish in the disaster, while another 200 suffered from serious injuries. By sheer chance, a radiology convention was going on inside the hotel at the time, so most of the victims were able to receive immediate medical attention from the scores of available doctors.
The Kansas City Star investigated the tragic incident, and soon discovered the source behind the collapse. The fourth floor walkway was originally supposed to be connected by steel beams to the ceiling, and the second floor walkway through long rods to a separate area. The designers decided (for financial reasons, naturally) to connect the second floor walkway to the fourth floor one, thereby doubling the weight load. They would be convicted of gross negligence and professional misconduct, and the catastrophe would go down as one of the deadliest collapses of the decade.