V is for Vesna Vulovic

I am again focusing on the famous, the forgotten and the misbegotten for Round 23 of the popular ABC Wednesday meme. But finding suitable characters is getting harder, so apologies in advance if there are repeats of previous posts.

Vesna VulovićVesna Vulović has an unusual claim to fame – according to the Guinness Book of Records, she holds the world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute, some 33,330 feet.

This unsought achievement happened on 26th January 1972 when Vulović was a flight attendant on Yugoslav Airline Flight 367 and a bomb exploded on board.

The plane broke in two and spun out of control, crashing near the village of Srbská Kamenice, Czechoslovakia, killing 27 of the 28 people on board.

Vulović wasn’t meant to be working on that flight but had been confused with another attendant also called Vesna.

Vesna Vulović in hospital

Vesna Vulović in hospital

She was near the rear of the plane at the time of the explosion and a food cart pinned her to the back of the plane during her fall, acting as a seat belt.

Both her legs were broken and she was in a coma for 27 days. Her injuries caused her to be temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, but she was to make a reasonable recovery.

Vulović continued to work for the airline until the 1990s when she was dismissed for her critical comments about Slobodan Milošević and only her national heroine status is said to have saved her from arrest. She remained politically active in Serbia until her death in 2016.

Who placed the bomb on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 remains a mystery. The Yugoslav government blamed a far-right Croatian terrorist group, although no-one claimed responsibility and no arrests were ever made.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • ABC Wednesday 5th December 2018

    Brave lady she is

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
    http://melodyk.nl/23-V

    Reply
  • Roger Green 5th December 2018

    VERY scary story!

    Reply
  • Su 5th December 2018

    Wow! I’m impressed that her fall didn’t stop her from continuing on as a flight attendant.

    Reply

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