Neerja Bhanot

Indian flight attendant of Pan Am Flight 73 (1963–1986) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Neerja Bhanot (7 September 1963 – 5 September 1986)[1][2] was an Indian flight purser. On 5 September 1986, she saved a large number of passengers onboard Pan Am Flight 73, which had been hijacked by four Palestinian terrorists from the Abu Nidal Organization after it made a stopover at Jinnah International Airport in Pakistan. Around 17 hours into the standoff, after she opened an emergency exit door and began helping passengers escape from the plane, Neerja was shot and killed by the hijackers, two days before her 23rd birthday. Shortly afterwards, Pakistan's Special Service Group stormed the aircraft and killed all of the hijackers. Posthumously, Bhanot became the first female recipient and, until 2003, the youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award of India. She also received the Tamgha-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award of Pakistan, in addition to several other accolades from the United States.[2][3] Her life and humanitarian actions inspired the 2016 Indian Hindi-language biographical film Neerja, directed by Ram Madhvani and starring actress Sonam Kapoor.

Quick facts: Neerja Bhanot AC N.Pk, Born, Died, Cause ...
Neerja Bhanot

A 2004 Indian postage stamp depicting the Ashoka Chakra award next to a portrait of a smiling Bhanot
Bhanot depicted on a 2004 Indian postage stamp
Born(1963-09-07)7 September 1963
Chandigarh, India
Died5 September 1986(1986-09-05) (aged 22)
Cause of deathGunshot wounds inflicted by Palestinian hijackers
Alma materSt. Xavier's College, Mumbai
EmployerPan Am
Known forSaving passengers onboard Pan Am Flight 73 after it was hijacked by the Abu Nidal Organization