A Greek passenger has told of how he was saved from being one of the casualties in the Ethiopian plane crash.

The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed just minutes after an early-morning takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday. All on board – 149 passengers and 8 crew members – died in the crash.

Antonis Mavropoulos, a Greek man, was supposed to be the 150th passenger but he arrived two minutes late for the flight.

Mavropoulos, president of the International Solid Waste Association, a non-profit organisation, was travelling to Nairobi to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme, according to Athens News Agency. He was supposed to board the plane but he reached the departure gate just two minutes after it was closed.

Sharing a photo of his ticket, he wrote in a Facebook post entitled “My lucky day”:

I was mad because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time.

He booked a later flight but was then prevented from boarding by airport staff.

He added:

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.

The airport authorities explained that they wanted to question him because he was the only passenger booked onto the doomed flight who wasn’t on board.

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