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17th Aug 2021

Photos show 640 Afghans crammed into fleeing US Air Force plane

Charlie Herbert

Afghans aboard plane

Thousands have been trying to flee the country on flights out of Kabul.

A shocking new photo from the evacuation of Kabul shows how nearly 650 Afghans were crammed on one US Air Force plane out of city.

The image shows hundreds of passengers crammed into the huge cargo jet. It is thought that approximately 640 passengers were aboard the C-17 Globemaster II jet, far more than the aircraft was allowed to carry.

The image was obtained by military news site Defense One, with a defence official telling the site: “The crew made the decision to go.

“Approximately 640 Afghan civilians disembarked the aircraft when it arrived at its destination.”

Journalist Alex Macheras shared footage of people trying to board the plane on Twitter.

A clip of the air traffic radio captures the moment an official was told about how many people were aboard the flight

An official says: “OK, how many people do you think are on your jet? … 800 people on your jet? … Holy f***, holy cow…”

On Monday, there were chaotic scenes at Kabul’s main airport as thousands tried to secure a way out of the city following the Taliban’s takeover of the capital. This completed a rapid advance throughout the country from the extreme Islamist group.

Related links:

Malala calls on countries to open borders to Afghan refugees

Biden’s statement ‘washing hands’ of Afghanistan labelled ‘one of most shameful in US history’

Footage appears to show Afghans falling from plane after takeoff in Kabul

At least seven people were killed at the airport, including two armed men who were shot by US troops. American forces have taken over control of the airport to aid the evacuation.

On Monday evening, US President Joe Biden admitted that the Taliban takeover unfolded “more quickly than we had anticipated,” but defended his decision to end the US presence in Afghanistan, saying that he “stands squarely behind” the decision.