A man has shared how he narrowly avoided being the 158th victim of yesterday’s Ethiopian Airline crash.
Contact was lost just six minutes after the Boeing 737 took off from the Ethopian capital of Addis Ababa, with the crash killing all 157 people onboard.
Antonis Mavropoulos missed Flight ET302 by just two minutes. The businessman was delayed after spending 40 minutes searching for his missing suitcase, which has vanished on an earlier leg of his journey.
In a Facebook post, he dubbed 10th March his “lucky day,” before explaining that he has been “screaming” after no one at the airport helped him to reach his departure gate before take off.
But it wasn’t long before he discovered the doomed plane’s fate as police pulled him aside for questioning.
Like many of the unfortunate passengers, Mavropoulos was on his way to Nairobi, Kenya, for the UN Environment Programme’s annual assembley.
The president of the not-for-profit International Solid Waste Association was meant to sit in seat 2L in the business class portion of the jet during the two-hour journey.
Sharing a snap of his ticket, Mavropoulos wrote: “I was mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time.
“I was screaming to put me on but they did not allow it.”
He was booked on a later flight, but was led away by airline staff to be questioned by police.
“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 ET302 flight that was lost.”
It turns out, police wanted to know why Mavropoulos had missed his flight.
“They said they couldn’t let me go before cross-checking my identity, the reason I hadn’t boarded the plane etc.”
Mavropoulos said he was in a “state of shock” after discovering he’d almost gone to his death, and began to contact his family to let them know he was ok.
He signed off his post by saying: “Maybe not too old to rock and roll – but certainly too young to die.”