Seventy-five years ago, the German’s LZ 129 Hindenburg airship horrifyingly burst into a fireball while the captain was trying to land in Lakehurst, Ocean County. The accident killed 32 people and left 66 survivors.
“Oh, the humanity, and all the passengers screaming around here!” Radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison notably cried as he was overcome with emotion.
The Hindenburg burst into flames on May 6, 1937. He described it as “the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world.”
The local residents have ghastly memories of the Hindenburg’s fiery demise.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Caleb Marter of Burlington Township said to MSNBC.com. Marter was only 4-years-old at the time.“My dad was an avid deer hunter, and he knew the woods very well. He took me to go see the Hindenburg land, and as we got close, we could see a glare in the sky. As we got to the fence, it was on the ground on fire, burning.”
The floating luxury ship could not land due to poor weather conditions for some time, so the captain decided to take the passengers on a tour of New Jersey’s tourist beaches.
“It was circling above us,” Betty Brennan, 82, recalled when she spoke to MSNBC.com. “It was flying low enough that I could literally see the people on board through the windows.”
She explained it was safe for it to fly so low since the only high structures were the ferrest wheel and a water tower. The encounter with the Hindenburg even became a personal experience for Brennan.
“I could see a woman with a child on her lap waving at us, and we were waving back. It is so embedded in my mind, and I’ve often wondered if that woman ever got out,” Brennan said.
More than a third of the passengers died in the flames and the cause is still unknown.