The most important role of a flight attendant is keeping passengers safe; this is something we flyers tend to forget. Attendants, after all, get a lot of flak for customer-service issues like not opening soda cans or wearing the wrong color lipstick. But when catastrophes happen during flights, cabin crews come to the rescue time and time again.
In the wake of the Asiana Airlines tragedy that took place on Saturday, many survivors have come forward with reports of cabin-crew heroism. After the Boeing 777 hit the ground and broke apart, flight attendants rushed to help passengers escape the smoking plane, acting with courage and composure under extreme pressure.
Survivor Eugene Anthony Rah told the Wall Street Journal that he spotted one attendant, Kim Ji-yeon, carrying people on her back, “minutes before flames engulfed the passenger cabin.” Rah said Kim was a “hero.”
Another attendant, cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye, was the last person to leave the plane, reports the Associated Press. “I wasn’t really thinking, but my body started carrying out the steps needed for an evacuation,” Lee told the AP. “I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger.”
San Francisco fire chief Joanne Hayes-White told the AP that Lee “was so composed I thought she had come from the terminal. She wanted to make sure that everyone was off. … She was a hero.” Lee, who has 20 years of experience flying with Asiana, managed to rescue passengers in spite of a broken tailbone. At the time, Lee wasn’t aware of the seriousness of her injury.
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