Sunday, January 29, 2012
Clockwork Creep Or How To Survive A Bombing At 33,000 Feet
On January 16, 1972 Serbian flight attendent Vesna Vulovic was on board JAT Flight 367, 33,000 feet high, when an explosion tore the plane apart. It took three minutes for the wreckage to hit the ground. She was found alive, but with serious injuries: a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae and two broken legs. Vesna was in a coma for 3 days. The first thing she did when she woke up to see the stunned faces of her parents was to ask for a cigarette.
“When I saw a newspaper and read what had happened, I nearly died from the shock,”
she told The New York Times.
She was the only survivor of 28 people aboard and remains the only person to survive a fall of that height without a parachute.
"...I was in the middle part of the plane. I was found with my head down and my colleague on top of me. One part of my body with my leg was in the plane and my head was out of the plane. A catering trolley was pinned against my spine and kept me in the plane. The man who found me, says I was very lucky. He was in the German Army as a medic during World War II. He knew how to treat me at the site of the accident."
A Serbian hero, she was awarded her Guinness Record title alongside Paul McCartney in 1985
In recent years, journalists have challenged the "bomb" theory, suggesting the plane was accidentally shot down by The Czech Air Force and had been attempting to land when it broke apart.