Viral Photo Shows US Air Force Cargo Plane Crammed with 640 Afghans Fleeing the Taliban

Ruptly

Afghans are fleeing the Taliban by the thousands. They flocked to the country’s international airport. They tried to board US military aircraft including the U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. In the end 640 people boarded the plane before it took off. It was never the plan to let so many people board the plane at one time, but when the ramp was still half open, more people climbed up, and the plane’s crew decided to take off anyway.

According to Defense One, “That’s believed to be among the most people ever flown in the C-17, a massive military cargo plane that has been operated by the US and its allies for nearly three decades.”

The pilot estimated that 800 people were on board the plane. A recording revealed an aviation official’s reaction when he heard how many people were on the plane. He could be heard saying, “OK, how many people do you think are on your jet? Eight hundred people on your jet? Holy … holy cow. Ok, well, you know, good job getting off the ground.”

Even more people were desperate to try to get on board the plane. Several hung onto the outside of the plane as it took off. Unfortunately, that led to several deaths. There were seven deaths total reported at the airport yesterday including a few people who fell off the plane.

Meanwhile, a Turkish Airlines flight evacuated about 300 more people. A Turkish Embassy employee named Senol Celik said that people “threw themselves in front of the plane.” He added, “They wanted to board the plane. They wanted to escape Afghanistan.”

Some people with airplane tickets were unable to board their flights because there were so many others pushing their way onto the planes. A 24-year-old man named Shafi Arifi explained, “There was no room for us to stand. Children were crying, women were shouting, young and old men were so angry and upset, no one could hear each other. There was no oxygen to breathe.”

Did you know it was possible for a plane to fly with 640 people on board?