Stewartville man home safe from Tokyo - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Stewartville man home safe from Tokyo

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STEWARTVILLE, Minn. (KTTC)-- A Stewartville man who was in Tokyo on Friday after a massive earthquake devastated the country says he is happy to be back in the United States.

Mike Prochaska was on a Delta flight back to Minneapolis when the ground started shaking right before the plane was about to take off, "The plane started rocking back and forth, side to side," he says.

The 44-year-old longtime IBM employee had been Beijing on business and Tokyo was just supposed to be his layover, until the quake hit and closed the airport.

"I thought it had just gotten real windy and then I saw the terminal going back and forth and realized it was an earthquake," Prochaska says.

The Stewartville resident used his blackberry to update his Facebook account so that his family and friends back in the United States knew he wasn't hurt.

"Honestly being on a plane was probably the safest place we could've been," he recalls.

With all the damage and the devastation that was going on around them, the Delta flight finally took off, only six hours late.

"The rest of the flight was pretty smooth and it was good to be back."

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