Why Did the Hindenburg Explode?

When the giant German airship Hindenburg burst into flames over Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937, leaving 36 dead, a pile of charred wreckage and a lingering mystery: what could have caused the horrific disaster?

Even before the ashes cooled, rumors were circulating. Three days later, the New York Daily News listed five main theories:

1. Lightning

2. A backfire engine

3. Negligence of ground personnel

4. A “cold spark”

5. An Act of God

The next day, the newspaper adds a sixth possibility: sabotage.

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