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Air Force: C-17 Crew Not at Fault in Deaths of Afghan Civilians Clinging to Aircraft

June 15, 2022

Thousands of Afghans breached security walls and rushed the runway at Hamid Karzai International Airport Aug. 16, desperate to flee the Taliban. Swarming an Air Force C-17 before it could unload its cargo, some of them tried to cling to the aircraft as it took o  again. At least one fell to his death. Image from Al Jazeera video

From the Air Force Magazine website

The crew of a C-17 did nothing to cause the deaths of Afghan civilians who tried to cling to the jet when it took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in August 2021, the Air Force said June 13. Civilians fell off the aircraft, and remains were found in its landing gear well when it landed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. 

In an email to members of the press, the Air Force announced the results of an inquiry by the judge advocates of Air Mobility Command and U.S. Central Command, as well as a review by the aircrew’s operational leadership, and based on evidence collected by USAF’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI). Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in the statement that the aircrew “acted appropriately and exercised sound judgment in their decision to get airborne as quickly as possible” in the August 16, 2021, incident.

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