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Dutch Cyclist Was Nearly on Both Fatal Malaysia Airlines Flights

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Maarten de Jonge

Maarten de Jonge

07/21/2014 AT 08:50 AM EDT



Clearly, the fates are with Maarten de Jonge.

The 29-year-old Dutch cyclist was scheduled to be aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot out of the sky above Ukraine July 17. De Jonge switched to a later flight at the last minute because it was cheaper.

But de Jonge's luck runs deeper: He also had reservations on the still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8. De Jonge said he changed his flight plans to avoid a stopover in Beijing, and while in the airport, ended up speaking with several passengers on the flight while waiting for his new flight.

"I could have taken that one just as easily," he told Dutch public broadcaster RTV Oost. "It's inconceivable. I am very sorry for the passengers and their families." That flight, which presumably went down over the Indian Ocean, is still missing.

On Sunday, de Jonge – whose website says he will no longer give interviews, out of "reverence for the victims and their families" – apparently flew Malaysia Airlines when returning to Kuala Lumpur, reports USA Today.

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