The Greek man of destiny who missed crashed Ethiopian Airlines flight by two minutes
London, March 12, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A Greek man, Antonis Mavropoulos has told of his near miss-a close shave with death with the crashed Ethiopian flight 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
Antonis 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 according to Athens News Agency.
Greek man who was suppose to board the ill-fated plane said he had argued with ground staff in Addis Ababa to try to get on the plane after reaching the gate minutes too late.
“I saw the last passengers going through, but the gate had already closed. I complained, in the usual way when that kind of thing happens. But they were very kind and placed me on another flight,” Antonis Mavropoulos told Greece’s private Skai Television, speaking via Skype from Nairobi.
Mavropoulos, who runs a recycling company and lives in Athens, was traveling to Kenya to attend an environmental conference and changed planes in Addis Ababa.
Mavropoulos, who runs a recycling company and lives in Athens said “I’m slowly coming to terms with what happened and how close it came. On the other hand, I’m also very upset — I’m shattered — for those who were lost,” he said in the interview Monday. “To be honest, I didn’t get much sleep last night.”
Mavropoulos put his survival down to luck.“I didn’t check my suitcase, because I knew the gap between connecting flights was tight. If I had checked the bag in, they would have waited for me,” he said. “This is a very difficult moment — one that can change your life.”
The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet occurred shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.
In a post on Facebook, Mavropoulos said he only became aware of the crash while preparing to check in for a later flight when he was again was stopped by airport staff.
“A (staff member) politely told me not to protest and say I should thank God, because I was the only passenger who did not board Flight 302, which was still missing. … At first I thought he was lying, but his manner left no room for doubt,” he wrote.
“I felt the ground disappear under my feet. … I have written this to manage the shock that I’m feeling.” AP