Greek Passenger Stopped at Gate From Boarding Doomed Flight - NBC10 Boston
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Greek Passenger Stopped at Gate From Boarding Doomed Flight

Antonis Mavropoulos was traveling to Kenya to attend an environmental conference and changed planes in Addis Ababa

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Greek Passenger Stopped at Gate From Boarding Doomed Flight
    Mulugeta Ayene/AP
    Parts of the plane wreckage with rescue workers 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.

    A Greek man who narrowly missed the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed Sunday 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.

    "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."

    157 Dead After Plane Crashes in Ethiopia

    [NATL] 157 Dead After Plane Crashes in Ethiopia

    The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-8 Max plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board.

    (Published Monday, March 11, 2019)

    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."

    Ethiopian-Americans Mourn Airline Crash Victims

    [NATL] Ethiopian-Americans Mourn Airline Crash Victims

    The Ethiopian community in Aurora, Colorado, planned a Sunday night get-together to celebrate a historic day, but that celebration became bittersweet with the news of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashing and killing everyone on board. 

    (Published Monday, March 11, 2019)