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Neerja Bhanot Husband, Death Cause, Biography & More

Bio Real NameNeerja Bhanot NicknameLaado ProfessionModel, Purser Physical Stats & More Height (approx.)in centimeters- 170 cm in meters- 1.70 m in feet inches- 5’ 7” Weight (approx.)in Kilograms- 60 kg in Pounds- 132 lbs Eye ColourDark Brown Hair ColourBlack Personal Life Date of Birth7 September 1963 Place of BirthChandigarh, India Date of Death5 September 1986 Place of DeathKarachi, Sindh, Pakistan Age (as on 5 September 1986)22 Years Zodiac sign/Sun signVirgo NationalityIndian HometownMumbai, Maharashtra, India SchoolSacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai CollegeSt. Xavier's College, Mumbai Educational QualificationGraduate FamilyFather- Late Harish Bhanot (Former Journalist with The Hindustan Times) Mother- Late Rama Bhanot

Some Lesser Known Facts About Neerja Bhanot

  1. Did Neerja Bhanot smoke: Not Known

  2. Did Neerja Bhanot drink alcohol: Not Known

  3. Neerja’s arranged marriage sunk deep into the sea in just months of the patch. Dowry, which was before marriage decided will not be taken, was being demanded once she reached her ordained home. The situation went so drastic that she was starved off finances and food and had to borrow money from her husband to even make a phone call.

  4. Once Neerja was back home in Mumbai after the flight of her married life plunged into the ground, she received a letter asking her as to what she was. This was something she could not take and straight away applied for a flight attendant’s job in Pan American Airlines when it decided to have an all Indian cabin crew for its Frankfurt-India flight. Upon selection, she went to Miami, Florida for training as a flight attendant but came back as a flight purser.

  5. Apart from being a flight purser, she was actively involved in modelling and had appeared in several TV commercial ads like ‘Godrej Besto detergent,’ and ‘Vaporex cream.’ 

  1. Just one year into her flying career, she experienced a terrible mishap which was ‘airplane hijacking.’ She was the senior flight purser of Pan Am flight 73 which bound from Mumbai to New York with a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan and the other one in Frankfurt. Onboard the 747-121 were as many as 360 passengers and 19 crew members. While the aircraft was sitting on the tarmac at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, a van which was modified to look like an airport security vehicle brought 4 Palestinian armed men who were dressed as airport security guards. They rushed up the stairs like a storm, entered the plane and gained control of the aircraft by firing shots. This was the time Neerja came into action and reported the hijack code to flight deck using an intercom which allowed the cockpit crew to flee out of the plane through the overhead hatch in the cockpit. This prevented the terrorists from forcing the flight to take off. After more than 15 hours of the chaos, the aircraft lost its Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), causing the lights and air-conditioning to go off. Soon the hijackers began shooting with an intent to kill as many people as possible. In all this cold war drama, Neerja was shot in her hip and was carried off the aircraft in a critical condition. She was sent to the local hospital where the doctors could not save her life. 20 passengers were killed and nearly 120 people sustained injuries. 

  1. Post her death, the government of India conferred upon her the ‘Ashok Chakra Award,’ India’s highest peacetime gallantry award for bravery. She was also bestowed with ‘the United States Special Courage Award’ and the Pakistani ‘Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat.’

  2. A stamp commemorating Neerja was released by the Indian Postal Service in 2004. 

  1. In February 2016, her brother Aneesh Bhanot published a book named “The Neerja I Knew.” This was published as a tribute to Neerja. The book has 11 chapters which have been written by the people who shared their lives with Neerja. Inspired by her story, a Hindi-language biographical film was also released starring Sonam Kapoor in the lead.

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