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The Story of Frane Selak: World’s Most Unlucky Luckiest Man

Frane Selak is an elderly Croatian music teacher who is known for his brushes with death

By Muskan Bhatnagar

Frane Selak, an elderly Croatian music teacher, is known for his brushes with death, which also made him gain the title of ‘world’s most unlucky luckiest man’.

90-year-old Frane Selak has cheated death 7 times on different occasions throughout his life. He has experienced everything from a car accident to a plane crash and has been lucky enough to survive all the incidents. Or maybe unlucky enough to face 7 near-death experiences?

Born on 14th June 1929 in Croatia, Frane Selak’s unbelievable series of death escapes began from the year 1962, when he was 32 years old.

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It was January, Frane was going from Sarajevo to Dubrovni on a cold winter day, when suddenly the train in which he was traveling, derailed because of a fault with the line. This made the train crash into an icy river, killing 17 passengers. Luckily, Frane was pulled out by someone. Although, he suffered a broken arm and hypothermia. This was nothing but just one incident, out of the many incidents from Frane’s story.

The Tale of World's Most Unlucky Luckiest Man
The train in which he was traveling, derailed because of a fault with the line. (Representational Image). Pexels

However, Frane at that time had no clue that this incident marked the beginning of the offbeat and puzzling series of events that would take place in his life later on.

The next year, in 1963, Frane got to know that his mother was ill, creating an emergency for him to fly from Zagreb to Rijeka. It was his first airplane ride. Even though the flight was fully booked, he somehow persuaded the airline to allow him to sit in the rear of the plane along with the flight attendants. Midway, both engines of the airplane stopped working and the cabin pressure dropped. Frane was blown out of a broken door while the plane crashed and 19 people on board were killed.

Frane, when sucked out of the plane without a parachute, almost believed that death was just some inches away. But, by God’s grace, he had miraculously landed on a haystack, which saved his life with some minor injuries. This was the last time he traveled by airplane.

The Tale of World's Most Unlucky Luckiest Man
Frane was blown out of a broken door while the plane crashed and 19 people on board were killed. (Representational Image). Pinterest

Just in case you thought that this is the worst incident that could’ve taken place in his life, then you’re wrong. Let’s discuss what happened in his life next.

Three years after the plane crash, in 1966, Frane was riding a bus that skidded off the road and crashed into a river, drowning 4 passengers. Frane, however, swam to the shore and survived with some minor bruises.

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After having a bad experience with public transport, Frane decided to travel mostly by his car, However, even that didn’t work out in his case.

In 1970, his car caught fire while he was driving. Frane was able to jump off the moving vehicle, seconds before the fuel tank exploded in front of his eyes.

The Tale of World's Most Unlucky Luckiest Man
Another driving incident took place in Frane’s life in 1973. (Representational Image). Pexels

In 1973, three years after the previous deadly car accident, another driving incident took place. The fuel pump of his car broke, causing engine fire to shoot out of the air vents. While his hair was completely fried off in this incident, but he survived another near-death accident, unharmed.

In another incident, in 1995, Frane claims to have been survived being hit by a bus with some minor injuries while walking in Zagreb.

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And in 1996, to avoid a head-on collision with a United Nations truck while driving in the Croatian mountains, his car crashed into the guardrail and fell off the mountain 300 feet down. He somehow managed to jump out and hang onto a tree, living to tell the tale.

This was the last deadly accident of his life and thankfully he hasn’t been involved in any such incidents since then.

After dodging death for 7 times, Frane won a lottery in 2003, at the age of 73. The amount was a whopping $1,110,000! He bought two houses and a boat with the lottery amount and eventually in 2010, he decided to give away most of his winnings to his relatives and friends after he decided to live a frugal lifestyle.



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