KEY POINTS

  • The crowd lined up outside the Kabul airport in hopes of fleeing the country
  • Eyewitness said four people died in a span of an hour
  • The recent stampede is the latest in a series of chaotic scenes from the airport

Nearly 10 people were trampled to death at Kabul airport Sunday by a stampede of people attempting to flee the country following the Taliban takeover. 

Thousands of panicked Afghans have crowded outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul over the weekend in hopes of fleeing the country despite the scorching temperatures.

The surge of people attempting to secure an evacuation flight has caused a stampede, which led to the death of at least seven people, including a 2-year-old girl. 

“My heart is bleeding. It was like drowning and trying to hold your baby above the water,” the girl’s mother, who had previously been employed in a U.S. organization in Kabul, told The New York Times.

The mother added that she attempted to look for her daughter after they had been knocked over by the mob. She later found her lifeless and trampled by the crowd. 

“I felt pure terror. I couldn’t save her,” she added. 

While the British military confirmed seven deaths, Kim Sengupta, a writer for the Independent and an eyewitness at the ground, said the official number of fatalities was 12. However, he noted the real figure is likely higher. 

"I've seen four people crushed to death in the space of about an hour, there are probably more dead in places we can't access,” he told LBC, reported Business Insider

Sengupta also said that he saw a young girl around the age of eight fainting after she lifted one of the shrouds and realized that the dead body was her mother. 

“The girl, who had a hand missing, the result of an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion, had asked me earlier to try and find her mother,” Sengupta’s account of the incident read

The recent stampede is the latest in a series of chaotic scenes that have emerged from the Kabul airport since the Taliban overtook the government on Aug. 18. 

Last week, a viral photo showed a baby being lifted over a barbed-wire wall at the airport and into the arms of a U.S. Marine.

The baby’s family had allegedly asked the American troops to give medical care to their child. The baby has since been reunited with family members, according to USA Today.

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country Photo: AFP / Wakil KOHSAR