Greek man saved from Ethiopian Airlines crash after arriving at gate two minutes late
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Greek man saved from Ethiopian Airlines crash after arriving at gate two minutes late

A GREEK man has revealed he was supposed to be on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed six minutes after take-off killing all 157 on board.

Antonis Mavropoulos was supposed to be the 150th passenger onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 from Addis Abada to Nairobi but reached the departure gate two minutes after it closed.

President of the not-for-profit International Solid Waste Association, Mavropoulos was travelling to Nairobi to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme, according to the Athens News Agency.

However, he arrived two minutes after the departure gate for the flight had closed and, despite his protestations, was not allowed on the flight.

Taking to Facebook, Mavropoulos shared a picture of his unused ticket from the flight as part of a post entitled “My lucky day”.

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"I was mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time," Antonis Mavropoulos said in the post.

"It's the first time I'm so glad I wrote a post and I'm grateful to live and that I have so many friends that made me feel their love."

The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed just minutes after an early-morning take-off from Addis Ababa, killing everyone onboard including one Irish UN worker.

Mavropoulos was subsequently taken in for questioning by local police, with airport authorities eager to learn why he was the only passenger booked onto the flight who wasn’t on board.

"They led me to the police station of the airport. The officer told me not to protest but to pray to God because I was the only passenger that didn't board the ET 302 flight that was lost," Mr Mavropoulos said in the post.

"They said they couldn't let me go before cross-checking my identity, the reason I hadn't boarded the plane etc."

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People from some 33 different countries were onboard including 18 Canadians and seven Britons.

Ethiopian Airlines has now suspended use of the new Boeing 737-800 MAX plane used in the flight. The plane has also been banned from Chinese airspace.

It is the same type of plane as the Lione Air model that crashed in October after take-off from Jakarta, killing189 people on board.