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Mulugeta Ayene, AP
Rescue workers look at plane wreckage at the crash site at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Greek man says he narrowly missed the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed near Addis Ababa on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

  • The man, Antonis Mavropoulos, said he argued with ground staff to let him board the plane after he arrived two minutes before takeoff. However, the staff wouldn’t let him on board.
  • "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," he told Greece's private Skai Television, according to The Associated Press.


Context: The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed six minutes after taking off Sunday, killing 157 people on board, BBC News reported. The victims were from 30 countries, including 32 people from Kenya, 18 Canadians and seven people from England, BBC News reported.

Mavropoulos said he was traveling to Kenya to attend an environmental conference. He said it was luck that helped him survive.

  • "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."
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  • "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."

Not alone: Dubai resident Ahmed Khalid said he missed the flight because he suffered from a delay in the first leg of his trip, according to The National.

  • "Everyone was asking the cabin crew what was happening, but no one was saying anything," he told The National newspaper. "They were just going up and down until one of the passengers saw on his mobile that the first plane which had just flew, like six minutes after it flew, it just crashed."