A man set to travel on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight missed the aircraft by minutes after his connection landed late.
Ahmed Khalid was set to travel home to Nairobi on the Boeing 737 from Addis Ababa, which crashed six minutes after take off. He had been travelling to the airport to catch the final flight of his trip from Dubai, however he missed it.
Speaking to Globalnews.ca, he said: ‘It was from Dubai to Addis Ababa and then from Addis Ababa to Nairobi but because of the delay from Dubai I missed the first flight. ‘So when I reached Addis Ababa they told me to take second flight which I said was fine.’
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While waiting for his new flight, Mr Khalid said he and other passengers were left wondering what the hold up was after being told the trip was delayed.
Moments later, a co-passenger saw a news alert stating Mr Khalid’s original flight had crashed, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members. His father, Khalid Ali Abdulrahman, who was waiting for his son at the airport in Nairobi, said he feared the worst when a security official told him the plane had crashed.
He said: ‘I arrived here shortly after 10am and as I waited, a security person approached me and asked me “which flight are you waiting for”.
‘I answered him quickly because I wanted him to direct me to the arrivals, so I told him Ethiopia, and then he said: “Sorry, that one has crashed”. ‘I was shocked, but shortly after, my son contacted me and told me he is still in Addis and did not board that flight, he is waiting for the second one which has been delayed.’
Seven British passengers and one from Ireland were among the 157 people killed when the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after take-off, officials confirmed.
The plane, destined for Nairobi, hit the ground six minutes after departing Addis Ababa on Sunday morning. Kenya’s transport secretary James Macharia said he could confirm there were nationals from at least 35 different countries on board. Records show the plane was new and delivered to the airline as recently as November.
The cause of the crash was not yet known.
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