The body of a dead Afghan was found in the landing gear of a US Air Force plane that hastily took off from Kabul airport on Monday as thousands desperately tried to climb aboard even as it taxied down the runway.
Human remains were found inside the C-17 transport plane’s wheel well after pilots were forced to make an emergency landing in a nearby country because they were unable to put the landing gear up, sources told the Washington Post.
The person is believed to have climbed onto the landing gear and tried to stow away before the plane departed in the frantic attempt to flee the country after the Taliban takeover.
Shocking videos showed masses of Afghan’s chasing after the plane as it taxied down the runway, with some managing to cling on as it took off.
At least two people plunged to their deaths moments later as the plane rapidly gained altitude over the city.
The gruesome discovery of the human remains was among the disturbing developments to emerge as Americans hastily evacuated in chaotic scenes that left at least seven people dead.
Footage taken by a US contractor showed dozens of military weapons, combat gear and vehicles that had been abandoned by troops at the airport as they evacuated.
The contractor said there was nobody guarding the weapons.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said late Monday that the US, which had taken charge of air traffic control at Kabul’s airport, had resumed airlifts out after suspending them for several hours due to the stampedes onto the runways.
The US had to rush in additional troops to help secure the airport and protect Americans still trying to evacuate.
Meanwhile, a defiant President Joe Biden rejected blame for chaotic scenes of the bungled withdrawal.
He called the anguish of trapped Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching” and conceded the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected — but stopped short of assuming responsibility for the bedlam.
He expressed no second thoughts about his decision to stick by the US commitment, formulated during the Trump administration, to withdraw from Afghanistan and end America’s longest war.
Despite declaring “the buck stops with me,” Biden placed almost all blame on Afghans for the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest.