(KRON) — A Greek man says he missed his Ethiopian Airlines flight yesterday and avoided boarding the plane that later crashed minutes after taking off to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all 157 passengers on board.
In a Facebook post titled “My Lucky Day,” the man shared how a chance-occurrence with his luggage made him arrive at the gate too late to board the Nairobi-bound flight.
The man, Antonis Mavropoulos, says he arrived to the gate only to find boarding closed. He says he chose to not check his luggage, but says if he had, the plane would have waited for him instead of taking off.
In the emotional post, Mavropoulos says the airport was able to get him a seat on another flight. When it came time to board the other flight, the man says he was taken aside by airport security officers who told him he couldn’t board the flight. Mavropoulos says he protested — but the officers told him not to be upset because he was the only passenger to not board the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight.
At that point, the flight was still missing.
The man credits “two small random circumstances” for his luck.
“I collapsed because then exactly I realized how lucky I stood,” the man wrote on Facebook.
The 157 crash victims were from 35 countries around the world. A senior pilot on the plane issued a distress call after takeoff, but authorities say contact was lost shortly thereafter.
Many of the victims were staff members from the United Nations, according to the U.N. Secretary General.
Those workers were en route to a U.N. environmental conference scheduled to begin Monday in Nairobi.