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Afghan stowaway trapped in landing gear of US plane after jumping on wheels to flee Taliban

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A shocking video that appears to show a stowaway trapped in the landing gear of a US plane after jumping on the wheels to flee the Taliban has emerged.

Several Afghans were seen jumping onto the wheels of the C-17 as it prepared to take off from Kabul airport and three fell hundreds of feet to their deaths.

Afghans running along side the C-17 plane as it was preparing to take off

Afghans running along side the C-17 plane as it was preparing to take off
Some can be seen clinging onto the wheel bay

Some can be seen clinging onto the wheel bay
Footage shows the plane taking off with some people clinging to the side

Footage shows the plane taking off with some people clinging to the side Credit: Universal News & Sport

In the footage – which The Sun has chosen not to show due to its distressing nature – the man can be seen hanging from the side of the plane and it was reported the crew found a body in the landing gear.

The discovery was made when the crew struggled to close the landing gear and then made an emergency landing in a third country, the Washington Post reports.

It appears the man became trapped in a panel that is part of the landing gear mechanism and which closes when the wheels are retracted.

The tragedy shows the extent to which Afghan are desperate to escape what they fear will be a return to the Taliban’s brutal rule based on an extreme interpretation of Islam.

With civilian flights suspended, many turned to US Air Force aircraft to try get out of the country.

Separate footage shows Afghans running alongside a C-17 as it prepares to take off with around a dozen holding on to the wheel bay.

Harrowing video shows the stowaways then falling several hundred feet to their deaths after being thrown from the plane as it took off from Kabul airport.

Two of those who died are believed to aged 16 and 17 and video posted later appeared to show residents collecting their bodies.

Sporadic shooting was heard throughout the day and the US military said its forces had shot dead two armed men by the airport security fence after coming under fire.

Civilian flights were suspended amid the chaos and then the US military – which controls the airport – said military flights were halted as they re-established security and clear people from the airport.

It comes as…

When flights resumed, desperate Afghans were seen crammed into a C-17 which took off with at least 640 on board  – several times its normal capacity.

An astonished air traffic controller can be heard saying “holy cow!” when he was told there were 800 of people on board.

During the chaos, US Apache helicopter gunships were brought in to clear a path for the transport planes, swooping low to disperse people massed on the runway and firing warning shots.

American troops guarding the airport were forced to fire shots into the air but it’s unclear if those who died were hit by bullets or crushed in the stampede.

In total 18 people have reportedly been treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital in Kabul.

Around 640 terrified refugees cram into the cargo bay of a C-17 jet to escape Kabul

Around 640 terrified refugees cram into the cargo bay of a C-17 jet to escape Kabul
A US soldier pointing a gun at a man at the airport

A US soldier pointing a gun at a man at the airport Credit: AFP
Some managed to make on top of plane at Kabul airport

Some managed to make on top of plane at Kabul airport Credit: AFP
Desperate Afghans climb stairs in a bid to get onto the aircraft

Desperate Afghans climb stairs in a bid to get onto the aircraft
Some of the lucky ones who managed to get away on board a flight

Some of the lucky ones who managed to get away on board a flight Credit: AFP

Residents of Kabul are now under Taliban rule with reports the hardliners have reportedly begun house-to-house searches with a ‘kill list’.

The stampede began on Sunday night and daylight saw another wave of people swarm to the airport as the exodus continued.

Desperate people were also filmed trying climb up a ladder to get on a civilian plane while others were seen being pulled on board another aircraft.

Paras from the 16 Air Assault Brigade have been deploying to evacuate Brits from the city as well as about 2,000 Afghan nationals who worked with British forces.

A few days ago US officials predicted it would take 30 days for the jihadis to reach Kabul – and 90 to take the city – but they have swept all before them in a terrifying rampage.

Twenty years after they were ejected by the US and its allies in the wake of 9/11 they are now back in power.

Taliban fighters out on the streets of Kabul after taking control

Taliban fighters out on the streets of Kabul after taking control Credit: AFP
A US helicopter swooping across the runway to clear a way for a plane to take off

A US helicopter swooping across the runway to clear a way for a plane to take off
People scrambling through barbed wire to get into the airport

People scrambling through barbed wire to get into the airport Credit: EPA
American soldiers keeping people at bay on the tarmac

American soldiers keeping people at bay on the tarmac Credit: AFP

Timeline of Taliban victory

April 14 – President Joe Biden announces US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan starting on May 1 and ending on September 11.

May 4 – Taliban fighters launch a major offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand and at least six other provinces.

June 7 – Government officials say fighting is raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.

June 22 – Taliban fighters launch a series of attacks in the north of the country, far from their traditional strongholds in the south.

July 2 – American troops quietly pull out of their main military base in Afghanistan – Bagram Air Base, ending US involvement in the war.

July 21 – Taliban insurgents control about a half of the country’s districts, according to the senior US general, underlining the scale and speed of their advance.

July 25 – US vows to continue to support Afghan troops “in the coming weeks” with intensified airstrikes to help them counter Taliban attacks.

July 26 – The United Nations says nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest number for those months since records started in 2009.

August 6 – Zaranj in the south of the country becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years and many more the ensuing days, including the prized city of Kunduz in the north.

August 13 – Four more provincial capitals fall in a day, including Kandahar, the country’s second city and spiritual home of the Taliban. In the west, another key city, Herat, is overrun.

August 14 – The Taliban take the major northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province just 40 miles south of Kabul.

August 15 – The Taliban take the key eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, effectively surrounding Kabul.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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