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Nugget of Knowledge: Hindenburg disaster

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The last survivor from the explosion has died

(WYTV) – The Hindenburg disaster shocked everyone in 1937, and it ended the era of the airship — no more dirigibles for large scale passenger traffic.

Now, the last survivor from the explosion has died. He was Werner Doehner, and he died on November 8 at age 90.

Werner Doehner was eight years old when he boarded the Hindenburg with his father, mother, brother and sister in early May 1937. They were five of the 97 passengers and crew members who took the three-day flight from Germany to the United States.

In New Jersey, the German airship’s voyage was cut short. It exploded during its descent; most likely static electricity ignited a hydrogen leak.

Werner Doehner spent several months in a hospital with severe burns on his arms, legs, and face.

Thirty-six people died; his father and sister were among them.

Doehner went on to live a long life.

After the disaster, he grew up in Mexico City with his surviving family. He was still there with his wife Elin and his son Bernard until 1984.

Then, Werner moved to the United States with his family to an engineering job with General Electric.

His son, Bernie Doehner, said his father didn’t like to talk about the Hindenburg disaster and what he remembered of it; although when his son was a teenager, they visited the site.

Werner Doehner died of complications from pneumonia in New Hampshire.

He had been the youngest passenger on board the Hindenburg’s final voyage, and at age 90, he was the last remaining survivor.

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