Repost from @house.of.leaders
Inspiring story from @dilute_the_power🙏
5.25 am, September 5, 1986: The Pan Am 73 flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt landed at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, for an hour-long stopover.
Four heavily-armed Palestinian men, belonging to the Abu Nidal Organisation, hijacked the aircraft carrying 360 passengers, many of them Americans.
They grabbed Neerja, who was at the entrance to welcome the passengers, by her hair. Sensing danger, she conveyed the “hijack code” over the intercom to the flight’s cockpit crew. Soon, the cockpit crew — pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer — escaped through the cockpit’s emergency hatch. Being the purser, Neerja became the head of the flight even though she had started flying only six months ago.
For 17 hours, Neerja and other members of the crew did their best to take care of the passengers and calm them down. She protected the Americans on board, who were targeted by the hijackers, by hiding their passports under a seat. At 9.55 pm, when the flight’s auxiliary power unit ran out of fuel, plunging the aircraft into darkness, the hijackers went on a shooting spree. Neerja and a passenger flung open two emergency doors, allowing many passengers to escape. While helping three children slide down the chute of the emergency exit, Neerja was hit by bullets. She was one of 23 casualties. Though she was rescued by two of her colleagues, she died before any medical assistance could reach her. She died a Hero 🙏
"One person, can make a difference. And everyone should try it." -John F Kennedy.
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