As hundreds of Afghans managed to escape Taliban rule after a US military plane took off with five times its legal limit of passengers, new vision from what’s been left behind inside the international airport has gone viral.
A US air force plane touched down safely in Qatar yesterday after carrying more than five times its suggested load when hundreds of desperate Afghan refugees flooded the plane.
Reach 871, a C-17 Globemaster III massive military cargo plane used by the US and its allies for the past 30 years, flew from Kabul International Airport late on Sunday, local time.
According to US defence officials, and photos obtained by Defense One, the crew safely evacuated more than 640 Afghan people.
But a US Contractor in Kabul has filmed a chilling two minute video detailing the weapons, gear and other possessions left behind at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Posting to Instagram, the man – named Sean – filmed mountains of AK-47s laying unattended on shelves, US military personal protective equipment, ammunition, radios and helmets.
“These are all just abandoned weapons,” he can be heard saying behind the camera lens.
“And there’s no guards at all. I could just grab an AK if I wanted one.”
The filmer then pivots to walk outside the departures area and past what appears to be lines of abandoned pieces of luggage, vehicles and other items strewn in a carpark.
Thousands of people swarmed Kabul Airport as the Taliban surrounded the Afghan capital.
A US official said a number of cargo planes took off with hundreds of people on-board.
There were also horrific scenes at the airport as desperate refugees, unable to get inside the C-17 planes, instead clung to the wings and landing gear as the aircraft took off.
Footage from Kabul Airport showed at least two people falling to their death after the planes took off.
Senior US military officials told the Associated Press at least seven people were dead at the airport, including those who fell from the departing American military transport jet.
Shortly after the scenes from the runway emerged, footage showed Afghans clamouring onto the side of the C-17 and clinging on to its undercarriage as it struggled down the tarmac.
Subsequent footage also showed people falling from the sky.
Online reports indicate at least 12 people were seen holding onto the landing gear as the plane took off. It appears most of those were young men.
The previous largest known group to be flown on a C-17 was in 2013 when 670 people were evacuated out of the Philippines to flee a devastating typhoon.
– with Natlie Wolfe