Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Swedish soccer team avoided fatal Alps crash with last minute flight change: Report

A Swedish soccer team escaped the deadly Germanwings crash in the French Alps after the club made last minute plans to change flights at a Barcelona airport.

Dalkurd FF, a third league team from Borlange was returning to Sweden after a training stage in Catalonia, Spain. The squad had their seats booked on the doomed Germanwings Airbus A320 plane that crashed Tuesday in southeastern France with 150 people on board, but the organization decided to shift travel plans only minutes before boarding.

After arriving at the airport in Barcelona, the players and coaching staff changed flights because the stopover in Dusseldorf was apparently too long on their way back to Sweden. So the team re-booked the last tickets available on three different flights that took them for better connections to Zurich and Munich respectively.

“To all who have tried to contact us in the last few hours, we inform them that we are safe at home. It was another plane. May they rest in peace,” wrote goalkeeper Frank Pettersson on Twitter.

“We were supposed to take the Germanwings jet. There were four planes departing at nearly same time and flying up north over the Alps. Four airplanes and we had players on three of them. You can say that we were very, very, very lucky,” said Dalkurd sports director Adil Kizil.

All on board the Germanwings flight were presumed dead after it lost radio contact with air traffic control at 38,000-feet and crashed. The victims included two infants, two opera singers and 16 German high school students and their teachers returning from an exchange trip to Spain. It was the deadliest crash in France in decades.

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