The U.S. Air Force said that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding human remains that were found in the wheel well of one of its C-17s that flew out of Kabul amid the chaos of the Taliban taking over the Afghan capital.
Images circulated on social media earlier this week of Afghans desperate to leave Kabul rushing toward a C-17 and clinging to its side. A separate video showed what appeared to be two people falling from a military plane as it flew out of Kabul.
In a statement, the Air Force said that a C-17 aircraft landed at Kabul’s airport on Monday and was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians.
“Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
It added that the Air Force’s office of Special Investigation was reviewing information about the aircraft and the “loss of civilian lives- to include video documentation and the source of social media posts.”
Over 2,200 diplomats and other civilians have so far been evacuated on military flights out of Kabul, a Western security official in the Afghan capital told Reuters on Wednesday.
There was no clarity yet on when civilian flights will resume from Kabul, the official said.
Photo: A picture made available on 17 August 2021 shows approximately 640 Afghan citizens being evacuated on an United States Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airplane from Hamid Karzai International Airport 15 August 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The United States military has been working to evacuate US citizens and some Afghan citizens after the Taliban took over Afghanistan as the US pulled out of the country. EPA-EFE/AIR MOBILITY COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS HANDOUT