Survivors Remember Flight 232
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE — "She looked up at me and said she was trying to get back to the wreckage and I stopped her, and she said, 'You told me to put my baby on the floor would be OK, and he's gone," said Jan Brown, Retired Flight 232 Head Flight Attendant. Flight attendant Jan Brown will never forget when she told four parents to place their children on the floor moments before their plane crash-landed in Sioux City.
It was her legal requirement on that day 25 years ago to tell parents that the floor was the only safe place for the children who didn't have their own seats.
Eleven children died that day, along with 100 other passengers on board United Flight 232.In what will be a weekend-long event, the crew, survivors and rescue workers are meeting in Sioux City to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and thank those who saved the lives of so many. "I heard a loud bang," said Flight 232 Survivor, Clif Marshall. Marshall says about 30 minutes later he saw flight attendant Jan Brown come back with tears in her eyes. "I pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote a goodbye letter. Stuffed it in my briefcase and stuck it under my seat," said Marshall. Thankfully, Marshall never needed that goodbye note. he quickly went from being a survivor to a rescuer, helping save the lives of 8 other people.Survivors say they are lucky to be alive, thanks to the hard work and quick thinking of the crew, and the first responders in Sioux City who rushed to their rescue. "They had hacksaws and the jaws of life. The National Guard came with forklifts to get the wreckage off us. They were here to save us," said William Records, Flight 232 First Officer. While the survivors all express great gratitude for the Siouxland volunteers, for some, there is also a deep sense of guilt. "I just can't figure out why I was allowed to survive. Why did I live? I don't believe in closure. You'll never get over this. You just learn to accept it and to live with it," said Retired Flight 232 Captain, Al Haynes. Brown says she believes she was saved so she could be the voice for the children who are no longer here.To this day, she doesn't understand why children younger than 2 are allowed to fly on a parent's lap, despite, she says, the FAA knowing there is no way for a parent to protect a child in a plane crash.