A Fascination with Failure: Death On The Dancefloor (Classic)

Henry Petroski is one of Tim Harford's favourite fellow nerds. His study of engineering failures has profoundly influenced Tim's own writing, including the classic Cautionary Tales episode Death on the Dance Floor. Petroski passed away in June 2023, at the age of 81. This week, in honour of the late great engineer, Tim looks back at the catastrophic Kansas City Hyatt Regency disaster of 1981. The hotel's space-age sky walks -- 60 tonnes of glass, concrete and steel -- crashed down onto the heads of revellers in the atrium below. 114 people died. What was to blame? For a full list of sources for this episode, please visit timharford.com.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Om Podcasten

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. New episodes every other Friday.