The body of an Afghan desperate to flee his country hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban was found in the landing gear of an American C-17 transport aircraft hours after it hastily took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The body in the aircraft’s landing gear has made it temporarily unusable, it was reported in Politico, siting the sources.
The news is the latest development after chaos erupted at Kabul’s international airport over the weekend following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan’s capital city.
Viral videos showed Afghans rushing onto the tarmac of the capital’s airport on Monday as thousands tried to flee the country. Some clung to the side of a US military plane before takeoff, in a widely shared video that captured the sense of desperation as America’s 20-year war comes to a chaotic end.
Some videos showed Afghans falling from mid-air from a plane leaving the airport.
A Pentagon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Washington Post first reported the news.
The Defense Department temporarily froze military and civilian flights in an attempt to clear the tarmac of the desperate civilians rushing the airfield, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Monday.
While Kirby could not confirm that an investigation was underway into civilian deaths related to C-17 flights leaving the airport, he told reporters Monday that he expected the department would look into the incident.