Doha/Toronto – A C-17 Globemaster III military transport plane landed in Kabul after hundreds of Afghans surrounded it. A huge crowd could be seen running alongside the slow-moving aircraft, with at least a dozen people clinging to the runway, jumping dangerously on the wheel wells and sides of the plane .
It was mid-August and the Taliban had just taken over the country. Several civilians had gathered at the airport, desperate to flee. It was a scene that captured the desperation of the Afghans and the chaotic end of the American war in Afghanistan.
The American plane had barely landed when the crew made a hasty decision to take off without landing their cargo amid concerns over the rapidly deteriorating security situation around the plane.
At least two young Afghans were seen falling to their deaths from above after the plane had already taken off. A third was buried under the tyres of the 128,00 kg aircraft.
The dramatic and harrowing scene at Kabul airport was captured in video clips – including a selfie – widely shared online, but how many people ultimately died while chasing a US military plane is unknown. More than a month later, much of what happened that day is unclear, but at least one family is looking for justice.
Among the dead is 24-year-old Fida Mohamed, a dentist who was last seen glued to the chassis. His father is sad and bewildered by what his sons were doing.
Father says Mohammed was his eldest son and he wants justice from America
Zaki Anwari was also among the dead. A promising star on the Afghanistan national youth football team, Anwari was knocked over the edge during a madness and caught under the wheels.
His brother remembers that Zaki had called and said that he was near the plane. And then another call, 15 minutes later. It was someone else who was using Zaki’s phone to say that his brother was martyred.
The C-17 was confiscated and the investigation was underway, but the full result is yet to be released.
“In addition to online video and press reports, human remains were found in the wheel well of a C-17 after landing at Al-Udeed Air Base, Qatar, in addition to online video and press reports of people falling upon departure from the aircraft,” the Air Force Department said. The Special Investigation Office (OSI) said in a statement on August 17.