Bahia Bakari is quickly becoming the focus of the recent Yemeni plane crash that most likely killed 152 out of 153 people on board. Bakari, a 14-year-old girl, managed to stay adrift for 13 hours after being ejected from the plane according to the Associated Press.
Whenever a case like this comes up, there is an immediate line of questions that follow; why this person and not another (Her father told the AP that she could barely swim and described her as frail)? was it luck, serendipity? what can we learn from this case?
In the weeks and months to come Bakari’s physical wounds will heal and I wouldn’t be surprised if all kinds of writers, psychologist, and others try and explore why exactly she was able to survive.
Explanations will be given, analysis written but I doubt anyone will ever know exactly why Bakari survived and the others didn’t. Whatever conclusion is reached, the one thing Bakari does show us is that survival is just as much luck as it is physical, mental and spiritual fortitude.
Update @ 10:40 a.m.
Amanda Ripley is a reporter for Time and author of The Unthinkable. She maintains a blog similar to this. Today she addresses children in plane crashes, a nice addendum to this post. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was not aware of her post before writing this one, so before accusations begin forming in your mind, no I was not copying her.)