Theory:

     The passengers on the plane hailed from different countries — there were Indians, Germans, Americans, and Pakistanis, among others. The terrorists were more intent on targeting the Americans. When Neerja was told to collect the passports of the passengers, Neerja managed to hide their passports and discard them down the rubbish chute. With her help at least 39 American passengers were saved out of 41. The hijackers wanted to fly to Israel and crash the plane against a building. On being confronted with this unexpected calamity, Neerja immediately sprang into action. She attempted first and foremost, to alert the pilots in the cockpit of the hijacked plane so that they could save themselves. When the terrorists saw that, they assaulted her. She then passed on the warning in a code, which alerted the pilots. As per the mandate, they made an escape through the alternate exit so that the terrorists were at a loss of pilots who could be forced to fly the plane to the terrorists’ desired location.
Explanation:
 
The passengers from the plane are from different countries. It includes Indians, Germans, Americans, and Pakistanis. Among other countries, the terrorists were primarily interested in killing Americans. Having this intention in mind, Neerja was asked to collect the passports of the passengers.
 
American passport.jpg
American passport
 
Since their prime target was to kill Americans, Neeraja somehow managed to hide and discard many American passports into the garbage chute. In this way, she had saved the lives of 39 American passengers out of 41.

This flight hijack intends to take this aircraft to Israel and crash it by hitting against a building. Neerja sprung into action as soon as she knew about this unforeseen disaster.
 
Terrorist’s plan.jpg
Terrorist’s plan
 
At first, she tried to warn the hijacked plane's pilots so that they could save themselves. When the terrorists realised what she had done, they attacked and harmed her. She then conveyed the message in a code to the pilots and warned them.
 
Pilots on Pan Am Flight 73.jpg
Pilots on Pan Am Flight 73

The pilots made their escape through the alternative exit, as per the pilots' instruction during an emergency, so that the terrorists would be without pilots who could be compelled to fly the plane to the terrorists' desired place.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
Intention
A plan in mind to do something
2.
Hide
To put something in a place so as not to be seen 
  3.  
Discard
To throw something away  
4.
Confront To deal with a difficult situation
5.
CalamityA serious event or accident causing damage or suffering
6.
MandateTo give official permission for something to happen
Reference:
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-3 English Standard-7. A Story of Self Sacrifice and Bravery (pp. 105-111). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.