Panicked Afghans stormed the airport in a bid to flee the country after the Taliban captured control of Kabul.
The US Air Force is investigating the human remains found inside the wheel of a the C-17 cargo plane that landed in Qatar from Afghanistan on Tuesday.
The probe will also look into other deaths at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul as hundreds stormed the facility and clamoured onto the aircraft in a desperate bid to flee the country.
The Air Force of Special Investigations said it is also looking into viral videos and social media posts that showed people falling from the plane after it took off from Kabul, in scenes that shocked the world.
Insane. Don’t have any other words.
The Kabul Airport.
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) August 16, 2021
The plane initially landed in the Kabul airport with equipment needed for the evacuation of US embassy staff and Afghans who were employed to help troops throughout their time in Afghanistan. However, hundreds of Afghan civilians ran onto the tarmac and clung onto the plane while attempting to escape.
According to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, the crew decided to take off and leave Kabul due to the “rapidly deteriorating security situation.”
US officials later confirmed that human remains were found inside the wheel of the C-17 military plane heading from Afghanistan to Qatar upon landing at Al Udeid Air Base.
According to a Washington Post report, the aircraft’s crew found the bodies after carrying out an emergency landing due to a landing gear glitch. The plane has been impounded to collect the remains and carry out inspections before it can fly again.
The Taliban entered the Afghan presidential palace on Sunday after taking control of all provincial capitals over the past week, declaring complete control over Afghanistan with the fall of Kabul.
Shortly after the Taliban captured the palace, the US rushed to evacuate its personnel from the Hamid Karzai Airport. As a result, Afghans were not allowed to enter the airport, prompting crowds to break through.
Footage that emerged online showed Afghans scurry to board planes as US troops fired gunshots in the air to repel the crowds. Several people were killed on the scene.