Dutch cyclist escapes death twice on Malaysian jetliners | world | Hindustan Times
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Dutch cyclist escapes death twice on Malaysian jetliners

world Updated: Jul 20, 2014 16:43 IST

Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge escaped death twice after he made last minute changes to his flight tickets for the ill-fated MH370 and MH17 of Malaysia Airlines, media reports said today.

29-year-old de Jonge, a member of Malaysia's Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG), told Dutch televison station RTV Oost that he had to change his MH17 ticket to another date because he wanted to save money by getting cheap airfare; Malaysia-based The Star newspaper reported on Sunday.

de Jonge said he was supposed to board Flight MH370 on March 8 for a competition in Taiwan but changed to another flight to avoid transit.

"It is hard to believe. I grieve for the passengers and their families but I am grateful that I escaped the flight," his website said.

"I am happy for myself and my family after these two incidents. However my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery faced by the families in this tragic incident," the website added.

The ill-fated MH17 Malaysian airline, carrying 298 passengers and crew, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in Ukraine on Thursday, killing everyone on board.

Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

Beijing-bound Malaysian flight MH370 with 239 people on board had gone missing on March 8, after taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The airline last communicated with the Inmarsat satellite before it went missing.