- An Ethiopian Airlines passenger said he missed the deadly flight because he was two minutes late to the gate.
- Antonis Mavropoulos, from Greece, said on Sunday that he was initially angry at missing the flight after rushing from a connection.
- Six minutes after take-off, the Boeing 737 Max crashed, killing all 157 people on board.
A Greek man said that he missed the fatal Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed all 157 on board because he was two minutes late to the gate.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Antonis Mavropoulos said that at first he was “mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time” as he rushed from a connecting flight. He shared a photograph of his ticket and said it was his “lucky day.”
“I’m grateful to be alive,” he wrote.
Mavropoulos said he was told by airport staff what happened to the flight, and was told to stay in the airport to be questioned about missing the flight.
He said a friend also messaged him to tell him about the crash, and that he realised he had to contact family and friends to tell them he was safe.
Mavropoulos, president of the International Solid Waste Association, a non-profit organisation, was travelling to Nairobi to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme,Athens News Agency reported.
Mavropoulos said he almost collapsed when he realised how “lucky” he was, and said he wrote the post to manage his shock.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed at 8:44 a.m, six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa. It was headed to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Tewolde Gebremariam, the airline’s CEO, told reporters on Sunday that all of the 157 people on board were killed. They came from 35 different countries.
The cause of the crash is not yet known. However, flight tracking website Flightradar24 said that the flight had shown “unstable vertical speed” before crashing.
The crash has also put spotlight on Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 plane.
The crash is the second in recent months, after a 737 MAX 8 operated by Indonesian carrier Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.
The Chinese government grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes operating in the country in the wake of Sunday’s crash.
A spokesperson for Boeing said that “a Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site [in Ethiopia] to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”
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