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Flight attendant miraculously survived after falling 33,333 feet from the sky without a parachute

Flight attendant miraculously survived after falling 33,333 feet from the sky without a parachute

Vesna Vulović holds the Guinness World Record for the highest fall survived without a parachute

Some Guinness World Records are pretty bizarre but perhaps none are more terrifying than that held by Vesna Vulović - the highest fall survived without a parachute.

Vesna was just 23 years old and working as a flight attendant at the time of the ordeal.

To make her story even more unbelievable, she wasn't even supposed to be on the plane that ended up plummeting out of the sky.

The airline confused Vesna with another flight attendant of the same name, meaning she ended up being rostered with the crew manning the ill-fated flight.

She was the only one of the 28 passengers and crew members to survive.

Vesna told security training firm Green Light Limited in 2002: “My colleagues had a feeling that something would happen to them. The captain was locked in his room for 24 hours. He didn’t want to go out at all.”

On 26 January 1972, Vesna boarded JAT Yugoslav Airlines Flight 367 in Copenhagen, Denmark heading to Belgrade, Serbia.

The plane exploded over Srbská Kamenice, a small village in the Czech Republic (previously known as Czechoslovakia).

While other passengers were reportedly sucked out of the plane by the change in air pressure, Vesna found herself jammed in place by the food cart, trapped in the plane’s broken fuselage as it hurtled 33,333 feet to the ground.

Vesna Vulović holds the Guinness World Record for the highest fall survived without a parachute.
Wikipedia Commons

Vesna sustained heavy injuries from the mind-blowing fall, including a fractured skull, broken vertebrae and legs, several broken ribs and a fractured pelvis, but she miraculously survived.

Physicians later determined that her low pressure meant she passed out quickly as the cabin depressurised. This saved her heart from exploding when the plane hit the ground.

The plane crashed into a wooded area with thick snow which also helped save Vesna's life.

She was found screaming inside the wreckage by former World War Two medic, Bruno Honke, who was able to provide her with life-saving first aid. She had no memory of the incident.

Vesna fell into a coma for several days following the crash and had amnesia from one hour before the incident until one month after.

Speaking to Green Light, she said: “The first thing I remember is seeing my parents in the hospital.

She miraculously survived after the plane hurtled 33,333 feet to the ground.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

“I was talking to them asking them why they were with me in Slovenia. I thought I was in Slovenia because I was just in Ljubljana before going to Copenhagen.”

Vesna was temporarily paralysed from the waist down, but was able to walk again after 10 months.

As for the cause of the plane crash, it is believed a bomb in a suitcase exploded in the baggage compartment. No arrests were ever made, but Croatian terrorist group the Ustashe were suspected to be behind the attack.

Vesna died in 2016 at the age of 66. When asked if she felt she was lucky to have survived the 33,000 feet fall, she said: “If I were lucky, I would never had this accident, and my mother and father would be alive.

“The accident ruined their lives, too. Maybe I was born in the wrong place. Maybe it was a bad place.”

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Topics: World News, Travel