The US military plane that took off from Afghanistan last Sunday (15) overcrowded with passengers trying to flee the country after the Taliban takeover numbered 823 people, the Pentagon confirmed on Friday (20).
Photos of the interior of the crowded C-17 Globemaster III have gone viral on social media. At first, it was estimated that 640 passengers were on board – a number that already exceeded the capacity of the aircraft, per 100 people.
According to the US Air Mobility Command, the initial estimate took into account the Afghans sitting on the floor of the plane, but omitted the children who were on the knees of the family members.
The flight from Kabul, which left shortly after the extremist group’s return to power, was bound for Qatar, where it landed after more than two hours of flight.
According to a report on the Defense One website, the decision to take off, instead of trying to expel people, was made by the crew. The airport in the Afghan capital has recorded scenes of desperation as residents flee the city.
In the most shocking of them, at least two people died after taking refuge next to the undercarriage of a gigantic US military freighter in the air.