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1930s & Earlier / Hindenburg Disaster 1937
Original footage from May 6, 1937 of the German zeppelin Hindenburg bursting into flames and crashing as it was preparing to land at Lakehurst Naval Base in New Jersey. This was the first major disaster captured on film as it happened. Remarkably, most of the people onboard survived. Of the 97 passesngers and crew, only 35 people perished. (One member of the ground crew was killed too.) The cause of the fire has never been determined. The Hindenburg was doomed once the fire started because it used highly flammable hydrogen as a lift gas. It only took 34 seconds for the ship to burn. This catastrophe effectively ended the era of zeppelin travel.