Madrid air crash stewardess survived by 'switching seats'
Antonia Martinez Jimenez, 27, has told relatives that she normally sat at the back of the plane during take-off and landing, but on the ill-fated flight to Gran Canaria last Wednesday she was rostered to sit up front in seat 1E.
All the other 17 survivors of the crash were sitting in the rows around her, and when the plane broke apart on impact, most were propelled out of the wreckage and away from the subsequent explosion that engulfed it. In a further stroke of good fortune, they landed in a stream where the water shielded them from the blistering heat as a massive fuel fire scorched the area.
"I heard some people calling for help, but I couldn't do anything," said Ms Martinez Jimenez, who was still strapped her chair when she landed in the stream. "A few minutes later I heard the sirens and thought 'I am saved'."
Speaking from the hospital bed where she she is being treated for broken bones and facial burns, Ms Martinez Jimenez added that she had no proper recollections of the moments leading up to the crash. However, she added: "I will never fly again - it was horrible, horrible."
The death toll from the crash climbed to 154 on Saturday after a woman who suffered severe burns in the accident died from her injuries, health official said.