Tragedy upon tragedy
Earlier this morning, Malaysia Air Flight 17 was shot down over the Ukraine. The flight, which was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, had 298 people on board. The missile hit the plane while it was at cruising altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). Of course nobody survived, and body parts were scattered all over the ground for miles.
The incident is reminiscent of September 1983, when a Soviet anti-aircraft missile was fired into a Korean Airlines flight which accidentally ventured into Soviet airspace. U.S. Representative Larry McDonald of Georgia was on board, making him the second representative to die in the line of duty, joining Leo Ryan, who was murdered by Jim Jones’ cult in Guyana in 1978.
July 17 was already a tragic day because of what happened on a Friday night in Kansas City 33 years ago.
On July 17, 1981, two walkways at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Kansas City collapsed while a dance contest was taking place in the lobby.
The walkways were suspended from the fourth floor of the hotel were suspended over those on the second floor.
Those fourth floor walkways featured a fatal design flaw, as their design could barely hold the dead weight load. Humans are not dead weight, and when too many of those humans were on the walkway that night, disaster was in the making.
Disaster was putting it mildly. One hundred fourteen people perished, and another 216 suffered injuries, the vast majority of them serious, with some paralyzed for the rest of their lives. The rescue efforts lasted 14 hours, and it’s amazing as many people were pulled out of the rubble as they were.
There is no memorial for the victims, which is a shame. Hyatt refused to fund a memorial, but fortunately, Sheraton, which now operates the hotel, has agreed to fund one, and donations have steadily rolled in since the fund began in 2011.
I’m not shocked one bit Hyatt has refused to help with a memorial. That’s the kind of slime which populates the Pritzker family, which owns Hyatt. The Pritzkers were among the largest donors to Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Penny Pritzker is now Secretary of Commerce. I swear I will never stay at a Hyatt hotel again as long as I live.