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Neerja Bhanot Death Anniversary: Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Hijacked Pan Am Flight 73’s Flight Attendant Who Died While Saving Other Passengers

We are observing Neerja Bhanot’s death anniversary today. The fearless flight attendant who died while saving passengers on Pan Am Flight 73 which had been hijacked by terrorists during a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan on September 5, 1986. She is remembered for her exemplary courage which she showed in the times of crisis by helping others and not caring about her own life. Neerja was shot while helping passengers escape through the emergency exits.

On that fateful day, Bhanot was the Senior Flight Purser on Pan Am Flight 73 flying from Bombay to the United States. The aircraft was carrying 380 passengers and 13 crew members.

Here are some quick facts about Neerja Bhanot:

  • Bhanot was born in Chandigarh and brought up in Bombay in a Punjabi family. She was the daughter of Harish Bhanot, a Bombay-based journalist, and Rama Bhanot.
  • She also had a successful modelling career simultaneously during her work at Pan Am.
  • On the day, when Bhanot’s flight was hijacked, as the senior-most cabin crew member, Neerja took charge of the situation inside the plane.
  • The terrorists wanted to fly to Cyprus with the goal of freeing Palestinian prisoners in Cyprus. Bhanot was able to alert the cockpit crew as soon as the hijackers boarded the plane, and as the plane was on the apron.
  • Bhanot opened one of the aeroplane doors, and even though she could have been the first one to jump out and flee from the aircraft, she did not do so and instead started helping the other passengers escape.
  • Neerja received the Ashoka Chakra Award, India’s highest gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy during peacetime.
  • Indian Postal Service released postal stamps commemorating her
  • In addition to this, she also received posthumously received multiple awards for her courage from the United States government, and the Tamgha-e-Pakistan from Pakistan, for showing great human kindness

On the occasion of Neerja Bhanot’s death anniversary, LatestLY pays tribute to the courage and the kindness shown by the young woman in the middle of the crisis.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 05, 2020 08:07 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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