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Air crash kills 35 near Chatsworth

July 12, 1949: A Standard Airlines plane on its way to Burbank from New York “snagged a wingtip in the Santa Susana Mountains and whipped into a shattering explosion on the steep canyon side,” killing 35 of the 49 people on board, The Times reported.

“Dead, dying and injured -- including two infants -- were flung through the inferno like dolls as the big twin-engined Commando smashed in flames against the boulders that dot the pass a mile and a half northwest of Chatsworth Reservoir at an altitude of about 1,600 feet,” the newspaper said.

As news of the crash spread, people from all over the area rushed to the scene to try to help.

“Among those who toiled as the fog was burned away by sunlight was the bizarre religious leader Krishna Venta, who calls himself ‘The Voice.’ He and some 30 bearded followers who live in a stone house not far away padded up and down the rocky slopes in their bare feet as litter bearers for the living and the dead,” The Times said.

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