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Woman Survives 33,000 Ft Fall From Airplane Explosion in 1972; Dies of Natural Causes at 68

2016-12-24

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A woman, Vesna Vulovic, who was a stewardess on a flight from Copenhagen in 1972, was the only survivor out of 27 passengers and crew when the plane broke up at cruising altitude.  She was trapped in the tail section by a food cart when the fragment of the plane landed in a wooded, snow-covered area on a mountain in Czechoslovakia.  It was thought that the plane was brought down by a terrorist bomb but no suspects were ever arrested.  She was in a coma for ten days afterwards and suffered a fractured skull, pelvis, two vertebrae, several ribs, and both legs.  She was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down but eventually made a near-full recovery.  She never regained memory of the crash or  her rescue.  She returned to work at the airline in a desk job.  She continued to fly as a passenger.

Vesna Vulovic made it into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest fall without a parachute.  She died yesterday at home in Belgrade; the cause was not immediately determined, but she was 68 years old.

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