Video of an Afghan clinging to a U.S. plane as it takes off has surfaced after being shared online by one of the men attempting to escape Kabul Airport yesterday once the Taliban seized control.
Chaos erupted at the Kabul International Airport as thousands of Afghan citizens rushed to catch an evacuation flight in panic, with many people clinging to the aircraft’s fuselages and running alongside the airport tarmac to jump on.
In the video, the man is seen holding on to the U.S. plane under the wing, in direct view of the aircraft’s engines as the carrier was making its way down the tarmac. Many others are also shown in the video, also clinging to the side in an attempt to flee Afghanistan.
CNN has reached out to the U.S. Military for comment, but their Chief International correspondent Clarissa Ward stated that she believes that the images, “speak to the desperation of how petrified an individual has to be to risk everything and just try to physically crush yourself onto the outside of an airplane.”
The video of the Afghan clinging to the plane is “something many Americans and people around the world will not be able to get out of their minds for quite sometime,” Ward continued.
In equally hard-to-watch footage, two Afghan citizens were spotted falling off a plane from very high distances above the ground as they remained clinging to the U.S. plane for some time even after it rose high into the sky.
Inside the Kabul International Airport, reports flew in that check-in security had collapsed were followed by Afghan citizens climbing over one another just to get a seat on the airplane.
One such aircraft carrier, a U.S. cargo plane, has gone viral for its image of over 640 Afghan citizens piled inside.
U.S. troops had taken over the Kabul Airport in the hopes of safely airlifting passengers out of Kabul, but were ill prepared to orderly deal with the thousands who ran to the aircrafts in panic.
In his first public address since the Taliban seized control, U.S. President Joe Biden stated that the administration was operating on a schedule in which they believed that they had more time to prepare. Biden said that the Taliban takeover happened much more rapidly that they had anticipated, and that he had expected the Afghan security forces not to surrender so swiftly.
“We planned for every contingency,” Biden said in his address. “But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you. Truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight.”
Many Military officials later commented calling the President’s statements, “utter bunk,” telling CNN of the “frustration” felt as they tried to urge the State Department to begin withdrawing members of the Kabul embassy for weeks.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen spoke on television yesterday asserting that the Taliban ensures a “peaceful transition of power,” but many Afghan citizens remember the Taliban’s previous rule over 20 years ago, where they were many incidents of capital punishment and harsh restrictions for women.
To try to curb additional unrest, the United States announced plans to send an additional 3,000 troops to ease tensions and help safely evacuate the Afghan citizens seeking a way out of the country without any more casualties.