Flight 232 survivor speaks out after 31 years

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Over the years since the crash, dozens of survivors have made the pilgrimage back to Sioux City. However, it wasn’t until this week, that Yisroel Brownstein was able to coax himself back to where his life changed forever.

“Being back here is really, really, really intense,” said Yisroel Brownstein.

It doesn’t change a thing for this Flight 232 survivor.

“Being here does not let me forget what occurred,” said Brownstein

The whole world saw what happen on July 19, 1989, and Brownstein lived it. He was headed for Philadelphia to see a friend when the unimaginable happened.

“We rolled 300 yards. That’s why I was buried in rubble, and then the guy came and pulled us out. It just keeps haunting my life forever and ever,” said Brownstein.

The man sitting next to him that day, a complete stranger, sacrificed his body to shield nine-year-old Yisroel.

“I get like angry, and it’s so horrible, like why am I angry? I’m so angry. It’s like why me? That’s what I feel like,” said Brownstein.

Like other survivors, Brownstein says he struggles with survivor’s guilt. Being back where his life changed forever could perhaps provide some more healing.

“To remember the captain and to keep his story alive. If you go to the museum, you just see his chair. [Captin Al Haynes’] chair is all mangled up, and so many people perished saving other people,” Brownstein.

Though he struggles over the memory of events that July afternoon, he says what Siouxland offered that day continues to provide relief and peace.

“The blood sweat and tears of the people that were on the plane and the people that were pulling us off. All the people that were so kind to just drop everything to run and do whatever they could is amazing like you can not forget. You have to remember everybody,” said Brownstein.

Brownstein said he’s paying it forward, helping Chicago’s youth. He works with the Chicagoland anti-suicide and anti-overdose mentoring program.

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