The flight attendant who survived highest ever fall from plane explosion

Vesna Vulović (3 January 1950 – 23 December 2016) was a Serbian flight attendant. She holds the Guinness world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160 metres (33,333 ft), after the explosion of JAT Flight 367 near Srbská Kamenice, Czechoslovakia, on 26 January 1972. She was the sole survivor of the accident.

On 26 January 1972, an explosion on JAT Flight 367, while over Srbská Kamenice in Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic) caused the plane to break apart. Vulović, 22 years old at the time, was a flight attendant on board. The explosion tore the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 to pieces in mid-air.

Vulović fell approximately 10,160 meters (33,333 ft). She suffered a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae (one crushed completely) that left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, and two broken legs. She was in a coma for 27 days. In an interview, she commented that according to the man who found her, “…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”.

Vulović continued working for Jat Airways at a desk job following a full recovery from her injuries. She regained the use of her legs and continued to fly sporadically. She claimed she had no fear of flying, which she attributed to her loss of memory of the crash, and she even enjoyed watching movies with plane crashes. She was considered a national heroine throughout the former Yugoslavia.

Source: Vesna Vulovi

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