Dutch cyclist Maarten De Jonge was scheduled to be on both of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flights but made last-minute, very lucky changes to his schedule.
De Jonge, 29, told the National Post he switched from Malaysian flight MH 370
, which disappeared in March, to avoid a stopover, and then, to save a few dollars, switched from last week’s MH17 flight that was shot down over the Ukraine. Both were moves that saved his life.
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"It’s inconceivable," he told Dutch public broadcaster RTV Oost, the Post reported. "I am very sorry for the passengers and their families, yet I am very pleased I’m unharmed."
On his website, de Jonge made a statement
that said he was “overwhelmed” by everyone talking about his luck in avoiding both flights.
“How happy I am for myself and my family that I was on this flight and did not take it the last moment; my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery in which so many people are dead,” he said in the statement. “Attention should be paid to the victims and survivors. Wishing everyone affected by this disaster a lot of strength.”
The cyclist told the Post that he wasn’t going to stop flying Malaysia Airlines, and already has a flight scheduled.
“I have been lucky twice,” he told the Post. “You should try not to worry too much because then you won’t get anywhere. I could have taken that one [MH17] just as easily.”
De Jonge’s phenomenal good luck drew a lot of online comments.
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