A Dutchman has revealed that he narrowly escaped death twice by changing his flight on the tragic Malaysia Airlines planes at the last minute.
According to local reports, professional cyclist Maarten de Jonge in March decided at the last-minute to fly to Taiwan instead of Beijing, hence avoiding boarding the missing flight MH370.
Then last week, de Jonge was supposed to board the shot-down flight MH17 to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, but he decided to change his flight to the weekend because it was cheaper. Hence, he escaped being one of the 298 passengers and crew who perished in the crash.
After news of his narrow escape got international attention on Saturday, de Jonge quickly refused to grant any more interviews concerning his escape. In stead, he said his escape shouldn’t be the focus of the world about the tragedies.
In a statement (translated from Dutch) posted on his blog, de Jonge said:
I’m frankly overwhelmed by the number of responses that I get. What has happened is terrible, so many victims, that’s a horrible thing. From reverence for the victims and their families, I do not think it appropriate to tell my story to the fore act, something that has never been my intention, I’m not self-stepped to the media. I have my story done and I would like to leave it. How happy I am for myself and my family that I was on this flight did not take the last moment, my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery in which so many people are paid. Attention should be paid to the victims and survivors. Wishing everyone affected by this disaster a lot of strength.
de Jonge says he still plans to fly to Malaysia later this week.