There are many unanswered questions about why an Afghan man’s life was cut short after trying to hang onto an evacuation plane with his arms and legs on Aug. 16.
When a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport, hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers quickly swarmed around it on the runway.
Fearing for their safety, aircraft personnel decided to leave immediately without unloading supplies for the U.S. evacuation mission.
Two Apache helicopters tried to ward off the civilians but that did not stop Fada Mohammad and at least nine others from jumping onto the moving plane.
Stowing away proved to be fatal, after the vaccum pulled Mohammad and at least three others off the vessel. They fell dozens of feet to the deaths.
Crushed remains of another stowaway was discovered in the landing gear well, prompting the Air Force to conduct a thorough inquiry and “prevent a situation like this from happening again.”
The Washington Post revealed Mohammad became excited after reading social media news about the United States and Canada airlifting anyone who wants to flee Taliban violence.
The 24 year-old dentist never indicated he wanted to evacuate Kabul according to father Payanda Mohammad.
The grieving parent, who lives on the outskirts of town, is still trying to understand why his son traveled to the airport without telling him. He questions whether the pilots should have showed more “humanity,” and accommodated passenger demands for help.
“If somebody is clinging onto the plane, does the pilot have the right to fly? Is this lawful?” the father said according to the paper. “It was like killing a mosquito that you do not even consider [to be] human.”
The eldest of 10 children, Mohammad grew up in the mountainous town of Paghman–west of Kabul. His parents struggled to survive on selling fashion in the family business, and invested their hard-earned money into the young man’s studies at the elite Shifa University.
When he graduated he opened a dentistry with a friend in Kabul’s Shaheed Square, earning about $200 a month. He also received financial support from his parents to get married, after selling much of their land and borrowing $5,000.
Mohammad was so successful he considered pursuing an additional degree. He even dreamed about escaping Afghanistan altogether, according to cousin Mohamad Basir.
“We thought a lot that one day, we could go abroad but did not discuss it too much,” Basir said according to the Washington Post. “You have to pay so much money, and his family [members] were not good economically.”
BL understands Mohammad decided to evacuate the Middle Eastern country because he was concerned for his safety, as an educated man. He left home without saying anything at 8:30 a.m., and family members assumed he was going to work. He was actually visiting Kabul Airport.
Former British Royal Air Force pilot Andrew Inman believes Mohammad’s actions could have endangered the airplane crew, because they cannot see or hear anyone climbing onto the undercarriage.
“I think at that point the confusion was such that, actually if [the plane] had stopped, there would have been more injuries and problems,” he said according to the paper.
Mandawi market security guard Salek discovered Mohammad’s body after hearing a loud crash above his home. The corpse was floating in a water tank on his roof. Another body discovered nearby was identified to be an 18 year-old from East Kabul.
The deceased’s father was horrified after identifying the body that belonged to Mohammad. The family and about 500 guests gathered for the young man’s burial behind a white and gold fence in Paghman.
“It was like the end of the world,” he said. “[It was] the worst moment of my life.”
It is unclear whether the affected home owner will be compensated for any structural damage to his property. Salek suggests Mohammad could have shown more commonsense.
“Of course people need to flee,” he said. “As a doctor, someone educated, [he] should have some logic to know better than [to] cling onto a plane.”
The father blames Air Force personnel for taking off without checking whether anybody was clinging onto the vessel.
“We all have a sense of humanity,” he said, “[The pilots] knew better than to take off.”
Basir believes his cousin was bound to fall from the transport plane because his time was up.
“It was written in his destiny,” he said.