It was an honor to wrap-up several months of research and reporting for a television news special last Friday on the 30th anniversary of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency hotel skywalk collapse.
I worked on the special for KCTV5, the Kansas City CBS affiliate. It’s where I once worked as a reporter and anchor.
The skywalk collapse was the worst structural failure in U.S. history. On that July 17th evening 30 years ago, 114 men, women and children died. Another 216 people were injured.
This KCTV news special, reporting by the Kansas City Star, and a partnering City in Shock website by the Star and KCTV5 devoted to the skywalk collapse gave surviving victims of the disaster an opportunity to heal further and come to terms with a tragedy that shocked an entire city.
Click below to see portions of the KCTV special.
Had not so many talented reporters, videographers, producers, editors and news managers worked so hard on this project, younger generations may never have known about or seen video of the night of the skywalk collapse.
Historic videotape reports of that disaster night may not have been located, cataloged, digitized and saved for future generations. A local television station and newspaper may never have had the opportunity to serve its community and viewers by taking a historic look at one of Kansas City’s most important news events.
Truth be told, I’ve spent the last three decades of my life researching, reporting and reflecting on this tragedy. I was the first reporter on the scene that terrible night as a young reporter for Kansas City’s CBS television affiliate.
The KCTV5 Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse news special was a highlight project of my career. After all, it’s rare that we have an opportunity to work on journalistic endeavors that defined an entire community,,, and us so personally and professionally?
It was a labor of love and respect for those whose lives were so profoundly changed by the skywalk disaster.