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 Neerja Bhanot

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Neerja Bhanot

Birth
Chandigarh Territory, India
Death 5 Sep 1986 (aged 22)
Karachi, Karachi District, Sindh, Pakistan
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 138698309 View Source
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Hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 Flight Attendant

On 5 September 1986, Neerja was a flight attendant on Pan Am Flight 73, which was still on the ground and boarded, when she found out about the hijacking that was taking place. She went into the cockpit and told the crew, and they were able to escape. She was the senior flight attendant, and she took over. The hijackers told her to get all of the American's passports. She and the other flight attendants took their passports and hid them under the seats and down a trash chute. She opened an emergency exit door and was able to save many. She died while shielding three children. Due to her unselfish bravery, and that of the other flight attendants, 359 people escaped and only 20 lost their lives. She was given, posthumously, India's highest award for bravery during peacetime, the Ashok Chakra Award. She is the youngest recipient of this award.

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