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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'My Time Had Not Yet Come'

ROME -- A 66-year-old Italian found out Thursday he had been saved from death on the Paris-bound TWA airliner that exploded off the New York coast by a lucky early arrival at the airport.

Domenico Consales was still in shock over his miraculous stroke of fortune three hours after landing at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on another TWA flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

His bags were tagged with tickets for ill-fated Flight 800, which he had thought he was on until way out over the Atlantic.

"About five hours into the flight I asked the hostess what time we'd land in Paris," Consales told reporters. "That's when I knew they'd switched my flight. It was only when I got to Fiumicino that I knew the plane I should have been on had crashed."

Consales' booking was switched to the Paris flight after his original TWA flight to Rome was cancelled.

He said he found out in mid-air that the airline's staff had transferred him yet again to another TWA flight to the Italian capital because he had arrived for check-in so early.

"Evidently, my time had not yet come," Consales said.