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1972 ‘Napalm Girl’ escorts Ukraine refugees to Canada

Kim Phuc, right, welcomes a group of Ukrainian refugees (Michal Dyjuk/AP)
Kim Phuc, right, welcomes a group of Ukrainian refugees (Michal Dyjuk/AP)

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the girl in the famous 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, on Monday escorted 240 refugees from the war in Ukraine on a flight from Warsaw to Canada.

The Associated Press photo of Phuc in which she runs with her napalm-scalded body exposed, was etched on the private NGO plane that flew the refugees on Monday to the city of Regina, the capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Kim, 59, a Canadian citizen, said she wanted her story and work for refugees to be a message of peace.

With her husband, Bui Huy Toan, she travelled from Toronto aboard the humanitarian flight.

Ukraine Refugees
The photo of Kim Phuc was etched on the plane (Michal Dyjuk/AP)

The 236 refugees, mostly women and children from across Ukraine, are among thousands of Ukrainians for whom Canada has provided humanitarian visas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of their country.

Millions of Ukrainians have fled since Russia attacked on February 24. Almost 5.5 million have registered with humanitarian organisations in Europe, according to the UN.

Canada is among many western countries offering Ukrainian refugees safe haven.

The founder of the NGO Solidaire, philanthropist and pilot Enrique Pineyro, piloted the Boeing 787. Oscar Camps, from the Catalan NGO Open Arms was also aboard.

AP photographer Nick Ut took the Pulitzer Prize-awarded photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc and other children fleeing a napalm attack in south Vietnam in June 1972.