A Greek man said on Sunday he would have been the 150th passenger on the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing plane that crashed killing all on board, except he arrived two minutes late for the flight.
‘I was mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time,’ Antonis Mavropoulos said in a Facebook post entitled ‘My lucky day’ in which he includes a photo of his ticket.
Mavropoulos, president of the International Solid Waste Association, a non-profit organization, was travelling to Nairobi to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme, according to Athens News Agency.
Antonis Mavropoulos said on Sunday he would have been the 150th passenger on the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing plane that crashed killing all on board
He was supposed to board the plane but he reached the departure gate just two minutes after it was closed.
He booked a later flight but was then prevented from boarding by airport staff.
‘They led me to the police station of the airport. The officer told me not to protest but to pray to God because I was the only passenger that didn’t board the ET 302 flight that was lost,’ Mavropoulos said in his post in which he admits being in shock.
The Greek national posted on his Facebook page with a post titled ‘My lucky day’
Wreckage lies at the crash site of Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 en route to Nairobi, Kenya
Rescuers work at the scene of Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu near Addis Ababa
The airport authorities explained that they wanted to question him because he was the only passenger booked onto the doomed flight who wasn’t on board.
‘They said they couldn’t let me go before cross-checking my identity, the reason I hadn’t boarded the plane etc.’
The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed just minutes after an early-morning takeoff Sunday from Addis Ababa.
Airplane parts lie on the ground at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines flight crash
Rescuers work beside the wreckage of an Ethiopian Airlines’ aircraft at the crash site
People holding passports from more than 30 countries were on board including a number of UN workers.
State-owned Ethiopian Airline had taken delivery of the Boeing 737-800 MAX plane on November 15. It was of the same type as a plane that crashed in October after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
Another lucky flyer narrowly escapes Ethiopian plane crash
A man has escaped the deadly plane crash in Ethiopia that killed everyone on board after he chose to fly with a cheaper airline at the last minute.
French media report having spoken with a Frenchman identified only as ‘Alfred’ in Addis Ababa who chose to fly with Kenya Airways at the last minute because they were offering a discount deal.
Alfred was supposed to take the tragic Ethiopian Airlines 302 flight to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to meet up with his two brothers, but at the last minute, he decided to stay an extra day in Ethiopia.
The cost of a ticket on the tragic flight was 90 dollars more expensive.
Alfred, reportedly from Paris and who works with a refugee aid organisation, told French newspaper Le Progres: ‘I went to the Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways agencies several times before making up my mind.
‘The Ethiopian airline ticket cost 280 dollars and the Kenyan airline one was 90 dollars less for the same trip. So I preferred to delay my departure and save some money.’
He added: ‘French people living in Nairobi are all familiar with this flight. I myself have taken it often.
‘I was surprised to learn that eight Frenchmen were on board Sunday morning. It is rather rare that they are so numerous.
‘I immediately thought of a group of tourists or a delegation, perhaps in connection with the UN summit on the environment that opens in Nairobi.
‘In any case, they are probably not members of the French community of Nairobi, otherwise the people of the WhatsApp group would have spoken about it.’
Investigations are ongoing after the plane crashed just a few minutes after take off after having reported a problem
Kenya Airways offered its condolences to the families of the passengers who have died in a tweet.
Ethiopian Airlines has also issued its sixth ‘Accident Bulletin’ stating that the ‘Digital Flight Data Recorder(DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder(CVR) of ET302 have been Recovered.’