11 March 2019
Addis Ababa: Antonis Mavropoulos, President of the non-profit International Solid Waste Association, survived the Ethiopian Airlines crash that on Sunday killed all 157 people on board by being just two minutes late in boarding the flight.
In a Facebook post, Mavropoulos, who was on his way to attend a five-day fourth annual UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, wrote that he was "mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time".
"The flight ET 302 Addis Ababa-Nairobi crashed 6 minutes after taking off. I missed it by two minutes and when I arrived the boarding had been closed... I was screaming to put me on the flight but they did not allow it," he wrote.
An angry Mavropoulos later booked a later flight but by then the crash of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet led to the cancellation of flights.
The airport staff "told me gently not to protest and pray to God because I am the only passenger who did not enter the flight which is missing", he wrote.
Mavropoulos was also probed by the authorities as he was the only person who did not board the flight.
"They did not let me go until they determined who I am because I was the only passenger who did not get on the flight," he added.
Ethiopia and China have grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after the crash.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302, on its way to the Kenyan capital Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed six minutes after take-off. It ploughed into a field near Tulu Fara village outside the town of Bishoftu, some 60 km southeast of the Ethiopian capital.