Neerja Bahnot‘s story is what is on everybody’s minds right now. After watching the movie, many people related to her and the hijack are coming forward to shower praises and share their stories.
Dr. Kishore Murthy is one of them. He was a survivor of the Pan Am 73 hijack and he saw Neerja get shot right in front of him. He shared how their stop at Karachi was an unexpected one and it happened during the time when airports in India and Pakistan were on high alert because the US had bombed Gadafi’s palace.
25-30 passengers were killed and a large number were injured. The terrorists began screaming in Arabic. They made 300 passengers move to the front of the economy cabin. Four terrorists took position in four corners of the cabin and started shooting and throwing grenades. One person opened the door that led to the wing of the plane. I remember Neerja screaming to that passenger that he should use another escape route where there was an emergency chute. But he jumped from the wing to the ground and was, as a result, paralyzed. It was very sad.
You know, Neerja was the first person who could have run away. She was trained and she knew what was happening.
She was at the entrance of the aircraft when the terrorists boarded. She could have escaped like the pilots did, but she didn’t do it. That shows her guts and her inner strength. She was truly a great leader.
You can read his full interview here.