Afghan Soccer Player, 19, Fell to Death From Plane

Zaki Anwari played for Afghanistan's national youth team
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2021 2:23 PM CDT
One of Those Who Fell From Plane Was a Teenager
Hundreds of people run alongside a US Air Force C-17 as it moves down a runway of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16. Some were still clinging to the plane as it took off.   (Verified UGC via AP)

One of the people who fell to his death from a US Air Force plane leaving Afghanistan has been identified as a teenage soccer player. Zaki Anwari, 19, played for his country's national youth team, reports the BBC. His death has been confirmed by the nation's General Directorate for Sport, per Reuters, and an Afghan news station tweeted images of him here. On Monday, harrowing images emerged of hundreds of Afghans running alongside an Air Force jet as it made its way down the runway of Kabul's airport, and people could be seen clinging to the plane even as it took off. At least two people were believed to have fallen to their deaths after the C-17 took flight.

“Anwari, like thousands of Afghan youths, wanted to leave the country but fell off a US plane and died,” said the national sports group, per Al Jazeera. After another body was discovered in the wheel well of a C-17 upon landing, the US launched an investigation into what happened at the airport on that chaotic day. Also this week, a remarkable image surfaced of an estimated 640 Afghan refugees crammed into a single plane. (Members of Afghanistan's girls' robotic team managed to flee the country.)

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