Desperate Afghans clung to the side of a moving US military plane leaving Kabul airport, with at least three apparently falling to their deaths from the undercarriage immediately after takeoff.
To enable the planes to take off, US troops sprayed gas and fired into the air to disperse the crowds.
As the plane soars towards the mountains overlooking the Afghan capital, two people can be seen falling, first one and then another. Horrified onlookers left behind on the tarmac point upwards, watching in disbelief.
A second video shows the bodies of three people – two men and a woman – lying on the ground in the airport complex.
Shocking video from Kabul Airport shows several Afghans chasing down a US Air Force plane as it takes off, with some reportedly falling to their death while clinging to the plane.
According to agencies, thousands of Afghans desperate to leave the country thronged Kabul airport where seven people were killed on Monday after Taliban fighters seized the capital, prompting the US military to suspend evacuations to clear the airfield.
Shafi Arifi, who had a ticket to travel to Uzbekistan on Sunday, was unable to board her plane because it was packed with people who had raced across the tarmac and climbed inside. There were no police or airport staff in sight, she said.
“There was no room for us to stand,” the 24-year-old said. “Children were crying, women were shouting, young and old men were so angry and upset, no one could hear each other. There was no oxygen to breathe.” After a woman fainted and was carried off the plane, Arifi gave up and went back home.
The Kabul scenes have been compared to “another Saigon” when the United States army fled Vietnam after failing to win against communist forces in the Asian country.
Another Saigon moment: chaotic scenes at Kabul International Airport. No security. None. pic.twitter.com/6BuXqBTHWk
— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) August 15, 2021
Video: People run on tarmac of Kabul international airport as a US military aircraft attempts to take off. pic.twitter.com/9qA36HS0WQ
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 16, 2021