Florida building collapse recalls deadly 1981 Kansas City hotel fall

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The sudden pancaking of a 12-story Miami Beach condo building may end up being the deadliest, unintentional building collapse in America in decades.

Officials so far say only four people have died in the Champlain Towers collapse, while 159 are missing, but three days after the building’s devastating tumble, no more survivors have been found.

In 1981, 114 people were killed when two walkways, directly on top of each other, collapsed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, and crashed into a tea dance being held in the lobby.

In addition to the dead, 216 were injured. Rescue personnel worked for 14 hours to free survivors buried under a tangled mess of steel, concrete and glass.

About 1,600 people had been gathered in the lobby, according to reports at the time.

The final report from the investigation into the cause of the collapse said it was structural overload resulting from design flaws where “the walkways had only minimal capacity to resist their own weight.”

The Hyatt hotel collapse was the deadliest non‑deliberate structural failure in American history, and it was the deadliest structural collapse until planes hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.

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