The air force evacuated the crew of a US military C-17 cargo plane that took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul last August with people hanging on its wings during the frantic days of the Afghanistan evacuation.
Ann Stefanik, an Air Force spokeswoman, said in a statement that twin reviewers of the horrific accident, in which parts of the human body were discovered in an aircraft wheel well, concluded that the cabin crew were “in compliance with applicable rules of engagement.” on Monday. The revisions were conducted by the Air Mobility Command and the United States Central Command.
It is still not clear how many people have died there Episode on August 16, 2021A crowd of Afghans, desperate to escape the country after their government collapsed under Taliban rule, climbed onto the outside of an airplane and fell off after the plane took off.
A video of the horrific scene, recorded by the Afghan media, circulated around the world.
“This was a tragic event and our hearts go out to the families of the dead,” Ms. Stefanik said in the statement. Pentagon officials said traumatized cabin crew members were later sent to consult with mental health professionals and chaplains.
Ms Stefanik said the crew “acted appropriately and made sound judgment in their decision to fly as quickly as possible when faced with an unprecedented and rapidly deteriorating security situation”.
Cover from Afghanistan
During the airport panic in the days following the fall of the Afghan government, pilots and US forces were forced to make difficult and immediate decisions. Hours before the transport plane left Kabul, another C-17 with 640 people on board – more than double the planned number – took off after hundreds of Afghans who had been allowed to be evacuated by the State Department rushed to the loading ramps. Military officials said. Officials said the pilots decided the huge plane could handle the payload and took off. That plane landed at its destination safely.
Early the next morning, a gray Air Force plane — call sign REACH885 — landed on the runway. The lumbering plane was carrying equipment and supplies for the US Marines and soldiers who were securing the Kabul airport and helping to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghans.
Minutes after the plane landed, came to a halt and lowered its rear ramp, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Afghans rushed forward.
Officials said the crew members jumped back into the plane and pulled the loading ramp before they finished unloading.
By that time, crowds of Afghans had climbed onto the wings and, unbeknownst to the crew, had climbed into the wheel well into which the landing gear would fold after takeoff, officials said.
The crew contacted air traffic control, which was operated by US military personnel, and the aircraft was allowed to take off.
The pilots moved slowly at first. Military Humvees rushed next to the plane in an attempt to chase people away from the plane and off the plane. Two Apache combat helicopters hovered at a low altitude, trying to scare some people away from the plane or drive them away with their powerful vertigo.
REACH885 was accelerated and flown.
Minutes later, the pilot and co-pilot found that the landing gear would not fully retract. They sent a crew member down to look through the porthole.
At the time, the crew saw the remains of an unspecified number of Afghans stashed in the wheel well, apparently crushed by the landing gear. Scenes captured in the flight’s videos showed other people drowning to death.