Norman A. Nichols helped to save Walter Perry and Allen S. Froust from burning, Houston, Texas, August 23, 1990. Passengers Perry, 49, who was unconscious, and Froust, 27, who was dazed, were in the cabin of a small jet that crashed shortly after take-off and caught fire, killing three. Upon impact, the plane’s left wing, which contained a fuel tank, and its cockpit separated from the fuselage, creating a breach through which most of the other passengers escaped. Flames that had erupted on the left wing spread to the fuselage and entered the cabin through the breach. Nichols, 38, line service technician at the airport, witnessed the crash and ran to the scene. As flames then prevented access to the plane through the breach, Nichols entered through its cargo door, on the right side of the plane, which had been opened by a co-worker. He joined the co-worker at Perry and, with his help, dragged Perry to the cargo door and handed him over to another co-worker who then took Perry from the plane. Nichols and the first co-worker again penetrated the cabin, the front of which was becoming more involved in flame. They located Froust and guided him to the cargo door and out of the plane. Again Nichols walked toward the front of the cabin, calling for any other passengers, before exiting to safety himself. Perry and Froust were hospitalized for treatment of injuries received during the crash, and they recovered.
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