Survivors recall Hindenburg disaster 70 years on

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LAKEHURST, N.J. -- At 87, Robert Buchanan says he sometimes has trouble remembering what he did 10 minutes ago. But he can recall in vivid detail the day 70 years ago when he watched the luxurious airship Hindenburg erupt into a fireball.

Flames roared across the surface of the mighty German dirigible only 100 or so feet above him, singeing his hair as he ran for his life.

''It was a piff-puff, just like someone would leave the gas on and not get the flame to it,'' said Buchanan, one of the last living members of the ground crew waiting to help the Hindenburg land.

Seventy years ago Sunday, the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg ignited while easing toward its mooring mast at the U.S. Navy base in Lakehurst. The blaze killed 35 people on board and one person in the ground crew; 62 passengers and crew members survived.

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