Hail, our heroes

Hail, our heroes
Miss Farzana Abdul Razak after the crash (L) and now (R).


The SQ006 airplane disaster is something Singaporeans would probably want to wipe from their memories.

Doubly so for the survivors, like former Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardess Farzana Abdul Razak.

On Oct 31, 2000, the ill-fated flight she was on crashed into construction equipment on a closed runway during take-off from Taipei's Chiang Kaishek Airport and caught fire, killing 83 of the 179 people on board the Los Angeles-bound Boeing 747-400.

Of the 16 cabin crew members who made it out alive, Madam Farzana, then 18 and just four months into her job, was the most badly hurt, suffering severe burns to 45 per cent of her body.

Overnight, the courageous teen was hailed a heroine, making headlines for staying behind in the burning wreckage and pulling passengers to safety upon hearing cries for help around her.

She helped others even though she could have escaped first, as she was seated closest to an exit door and was faced with life-threatening injuries as the flames closed in.

Over the years, it was The New Paper that faithfully featured her painful journey towards recovery and rebirth every step of the way.

Today, not only has the traumatic experience been something that's far from being forgotten, it has become part of her identity.

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