The Simple Design Flaw That Caused the 1981 Hyatt Regency Collapse

Engineer Grady Hillhouse from Practical Engineering fills in for Tom Scott in an episode of Things You Might Not Know to explain the simple design flaw that caused the 1981 Hyatt Regency collapse. The disaster killed 114 people and injured 216 more, and now serves as an example in engineering schools of the importance of carefully reviewing plans and the public trust in engineering.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel collapse was a disaster that changed engineering: it’s taught in colleges and universities as a way to make it clear: you check and double-check everything. Something that seems like a subtle change can cause a catastrophic failure if it’s not thoroughly checked first!