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Human remains found in wheel well of US military plane following Kabul airport chaos

The plane was surrounded by hundreds of civilians as it took off from Kabul’s airport.

Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at Kabul airport on Monday.
Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at Kabul airport on Monday.
Image: Shekib Rahmani

THE US AIR Force has confirmed that human remains were found in the wheel well of one of its planes that flew out of Kabul amid chaotic scenes in the Afghan capital as the Taliban seized control.

Images of people desperately chasing after the departing C-17 aircraft were shared on social media and by news outlets across the world on Monday.

The footage showed people clinging to the side of the Air Force plane as it rolled down the runway.

Other videos appeared to show people falling from the aircraft as it gained altitude. 

In a statement, the Air Force said that its C-17 plane was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians after it landed at Kabul’s airport.

“Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible,” it said.

The statement added that the Air Force’s office of Special Investigation was reviewing information about the aircraft and the “loss of civilian lives- to include video documentation and the source of social media posts.”

The airport was thrown into chaos as Afghans tried to flee the country following the Taliban takeover.

US troops fired shots into the air and all commercial flights were cancelled. Military officials said at least eight people died during the frantic scenes on the tarmac.

Crowds also built outside embassies in Kabul today following rumours that governments were offering asylum.

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The White House said yesterday the Taliban had promised that civilians could travel safely to the Kabul airport as the US military stepped up its evacuation for Americans and Afghans fleeing the Islamist group.

However, a timetable for completing the evacuation of Americans, Afghan allies and others has yet to be worked out with the country’s new rulers.

Additional reporting from AFP

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Céimin Burke

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