September 29, 2021

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Afghanistan: US Air Force rescues 823 people – with only one plane! – Politics abroad

A photo of a fully packed U.S. rescue plane went around the world: Last Sunday, crews of a Boeing C-17 transport aircraft loaded and unloaded hundreds of people, regardless of safety regulations or evacuation lists. It is now known how many people actually gathered together to flee Afghanistan.

The U.S. Air Force initially announced the evacuation of 640 people. But they were actually able to bring many more to safety: the soldier in charge of the cargo, Justin Triola, said there were 823 passengers on board.

Triola: “They were definitely worried about leaving the area and we were happy to take them with us. They were definitely happy when we were in the air.” Lieutenant Colonel Eric Good told CNN Friday: “It’s not about that, it’s about protecting women and children and saving lives.” That’s what we trained for, “Good said.

A U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 transport aircraft can carry about 300 passengers during an exit. In this case, panicked Afghans hit the plane amid chaos at Kabul airport on Sunday, according to the “Defense One” website. So it decided to expel them instead of forcing people out of Qatar.

The floor of the C-17 can no longer be seen in the photo for the crowd. The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed the process Tuesday, but did not release any details on the number of passengers.


Hundreds of people walk on the airport tarmac. In the middle: US Air Force C-17Photo: /AP

The number of new passengers is based on 183 children, which has not been calculated to date.

Air Mobility Command, the main command of the U.S. Air Force, wrote on Twitter: “The original number (after landing, editor’s note) based on how many seats were occupied when the aircraft left the aircraft. It does not include the number of children sitting on the lap (adults, teacher note).

The C-17 Globemaster III is commonly used to carry heavy equipment or to replace hundreds of soldiers with luggage and weapons.

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