USAF Investigating Afghan Civilian Deaths During C-17 Taking off From Kabul

 

As we have shared with you earlier the shocking video that shows desperate afghans who clung to the USAF C-17 Globemaster transport plane falling from the sky.

Now according to the latest reports, the Air Force is investigating the events that led to a C-17 taking off with civilians clinging to its landing gear then falling to their deaths as the aircraft left Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is reviewing all information regarding the incident, in coordination with Air Mobility Command and other international partners.

“OSI’s review will be thorough to ensure we obtain the facts regarding this tragic incident,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased.”

The C-17, tail number 2-1109, deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Deployed aircraft are regularly flown by aircrews from other locations. It landed at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 16 to deliver a load of equipment to support the evacuation of both American and Afghan civilians from the country as the Taliban claimed control of Kabul.

Before the aircrew could even offload the cargo, however, the plane was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians who had breached the perimeter of the airport, according to the statement.

“Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible,” the Air Force said.

Human remains were discovered in the wheel well of the C-17 once it returned to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The C-17 is impounded to allow crews to collect the remains and inspect the aircraft before it returns to flight.

Horrific footage purporting to show an Afghan caught in the landing gear of a C-17 after clambering onto the plane has emerged amid the chaos of evacuation flights in Kabul as guns and body armor are dumped at the airport.

Footage that appears to have been taken from a porthole in the rear door of a C-17 military plane shows a man’s legs protruding from the wheel arch and failing against the side of the plane as it cuts through the air.

 

In addition to the review, AMC safety officials “are doing due diligence to better understand how events unfolded” to ensure current and future flight operations are safe.

“Alongside our joint force, interagency, and international partners, the U.S. Air Force remains laser-focused on maintaining security at HKIA to prevent a situation like this from happening again as we safely process Afghan civilians seeking to depart the country,” the Air Force said.

As already reported, several flights were able to take off from Hamid Karzai International Airport with hundreds of people aboard. One of these flights was Reach 871, the C-17 flight that rescued 640 Afghans from the Taliban.

A photo was taken from inside Reach 871, a C-17 from the 436th Air Wing, based at Dover Air Force Base (AFB), Delaware, made the headlines.

Reach 871 was not aimed to take on such a large load, but panicked Afghans who had been cleared to evacuate pulled themselves onto the Globemaster III’s half-open ramp.

“The crew made the decision to go,” instead of trying to force those refugees off the aircraft. “Approximately 640 Afghan civilians disembarked the aircraft when it arrived at its destination,” one defense official said.

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