On July 17, 1981, about 2,000 people gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, for a dance. What followed was one of the most deadly structural failures in American history.
Shortly after 7 p.m., two 32-ton skywalks collapsed — the fourth-story walkway fell on to the second-story walkway and both crashed into the lobby. The toll: 114 killed, 200 injured.
Now, more than 30 years later, a memorial honors those who died and recognizes the contributions of the first responders. At a dedication ceremony Thursday morning for the Skywalk Memorial Plaza, many personal stories were shared.