One of the Afghans seen plunging from a US Air Force plane as it took off from Kabul was identified in a report Wednesday as a 17-year-old boy — whose younger brother may have also died while desperately attempting to flee the country.
Relatives of the teenager described the horrifying moment they found his mangled body on the ground after he fell from the C-17 transport plane on Monday.
“His legs and arms were gone. I brought him back myself,” a family member told Vice News.
The outlet called the teen and his 16-year-old brother Reza and Kabeer, but said it changed their names because they are minors, and to protect their families.
Both boys left home for the airport Monday amid the Taliban’s takeover, after hearing a rumor that 20,000 people would be relocated to Canada or the US, the report said.
“Without telling anyone in the house, he took his personal ID, and left to the airport,” the family member told Vice about Reza.
The brothers were reportedly among thousands of Afghans filmed frantically chasing after and clinging to the military plane as it taxied down the runway.
Harrowing footage showed two people falling to their deaths as the aircraft took off. US officials said at least seven were killed, including two shot dead by American forces as the crowd swarmed the tarmac.
Relatives said that Kabeer was still missing, but that they hoped to find him — either dead or alive.
“We are really upset that we’ve lost two,” the family member told Vice. “We’ve found the body of one of them, but the other one is still missing.”
“We hope to find him dead or alive so it will console our family,” the relative said about Kabeer. “We are worried, and we went from one hospital to another, but we didn’t get any information.”
The family member added: “His mother is devastated, she is passing out every now and then.”
The brothers, the eldest of eight siblings, are part of a younger generation of Afghans who never experienced the oppressive Taliban rule of the 1990s, the report said.
They were among scores of citizens terrified of losing their freedoms, such as being able to go to school or listen to music, after the fall of the Afghan government and the extremist group’s takeover.
“Everyone is trying to run away,” the family member said. “It is in fear of the Taliban, they are killing people.”