The Last Dance: The Skywalks Disaster and a City Changedby Kevin Murphy
It is difficult to determine an accurate number of the people
In an instant, more than one hundred people lost their lives. Twice as many were seriously injured. In an instant, the crush of concrete and steel jolted the lives of hundreds of others. For friends and relatives of the dead and injured, nothing would ever be the same. In an instant, a city was changed.
It is difficult to determine an accurate number of the people affected by the collapse of the skywalks at the Hyatt Regency hotel on July 17, 1981, but estimates put it well into the thousands. From loved ones to witnesses. And for some, the pain persists.
"The Last Dance" is the story of a tragedy. It tells how a new building raised hopes and a city's pride, how a desire for grand architectural flourishes created challenges and how efforts to simplify construction created a fatal flaw. It tells how an evening of gaiety turned into a night of horror.
This is also a story of how the truth was discovered, what we learned from the mistakes that were made in construction, and the successes and shortcomings of the city's emergency response that fateful night. This is a story, too, about how life has changed for those most affected by the disaster.
In the three decades since the fall of the skywalks, our collective bones may have healed, and we may have patched our broken lives as best we can, but we haven't forgotten. Yet, there is no memorial, no lasting monument in the city, to honor those who died and those who helped save lives. That, perhaps, is another chapter to the tragedy. To that end, royalties from this book will go to help build that physical legacy.
"The Last Dance" looks back at the events of 30 years ago, but it also examines the present and looks to the future. It is a reflection upon what once was and what, in an instant, was gone. It is about healing, recovery and hope.
- Kansas City Star Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
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