On December 23, 2016, at the age of 66, the legendary stewardess Vesna Vulovic died, who in 1972 was present at the explosion in the cabin of the aircraft, and then fell with the debris from a height of 10 km.
She received numerous fractures and injuries, fell into a coma for several days, but then recovered, entered the Guinness Book of Records and became a world famous.
On January 26, 1972, 22-year-old Vesna Vulovic flew from Stockholm to Belgrade on a Yugoslav Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 plane. When the plane flew over the German Hersdorf, it disappeared from the radar, and after 46 minutes after departure it exploded in the air. It is assumed that the bomb was carried on board by Croatian nationalists - the Ustasha. Debris fell near the Serbska village of Kamenice in Czechoslovakia.
Of the 28 people on board, only Vulovic survived. As a result of the fall, she received fractures of the base of the skull, three vertebrae, both legs and pelvis, stayed in a coma for several days, but then woke up and asked for a cigarette first. Interestingly, by mistake of the airline, the girl got on the flight instead of another flight attendant with the same name (Vesna Nikolic). By the time of the disaster, the flight attendant had not yet completed her studies and was in the crew as a trainee.
What saved Vulovic, who spent three minutes in free fall? Perhaps the fact that she was trapped in the tail of the plane, between the corpses and parts of the luggage. In addition, the blow was softened by pine branches and a thick layer of snow.
Her screams in the forest were heard by the forester Bruno Henke, who during the Second World War was a doctor of the German army. He helped the girl hold out until medical help arrived.
Vulovic spent 10 months with paralysis of the lower body (from the waist to the legs). After that, she was treated for another six months, but then recovered and even asked to fly again with JAT. She was turned down and given a job at the airline's office instead.
Such fearlessness is explained by the fact that Vesna remembered neither the accident nor her salvation. In a 2008 interview, she admitted that she only remembers how she greeted passengers after takeoff from Copenhagen, and then she woke up in the hospital and saw her mother.
Vulovic became a national heroine: she was given the reception by Marshal Tito, which was then considered a great honor for a citizen of Yugoslavia. They dedicated songs to the woman and invited her to the most popular television shows. It became popular to name girls after the flight attendant who survived: it seemed to bring them good luck.
Vesna Vulovic used her fame for political purposes: she protested against the power of Slobodan Milosevic, and later campaigned for one of the parties in the elections.
Vulovich's international fame peaked in 1985, when she was invited to London on behalf of the Guinness Book of Records. There Vulovic received the award as a survivor of a fall without a parachute from a maximum height. The prize was presented to the woman by the musician Paul McCartney, the idol of her youth.
Vesna said that she was as much a “survivor” as other residents of Serbia: “We Serbs are truly survivors. We survived communism, Tito, war, poverty, NATO bombing, sanctions and Milosevic. We just want a normal life. "
On December 23, Vesna Vulovic was found dead at her home in Belgrade: the police opened the woman's apartment at the request of her friends, alarmed that she would not answer calls. The cause of death is unknown, but according to Vulovich's friends, her health has recently deteriorated.