The US Air Force is investigating human remains found in the wheel well of one of its C-17s that flew out of Kabul amid scenes of chaos resulting from the Taliban takeover of the capital.
In a statement, the air force said that the cargo plane landed at Kabul's airport on Monday (local time) to deliver equipment for the evacuation effort.
However in horrible scenes that were beamed around the world, the aircraft was surrounded by Afghan civilians who had breached the perimeter before the crew could offload the cargo.
"Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible," the statement said.
"In addition to videos seen online and in press reports, human remains were discovered in the wheel well of the C-17 after it landed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
"The aircraft is currently impounded to provide time to collect the remains and inspect the aircraft before it is returned to flying status."
Images circulated on social media earlier this week of Afghans desperate to leave Kabul rushing toward a C-17 and clinging to its side.
The Air Force did not say how many people died. It said human remains were found in the plane's wheel well after it landed at al-Udeid Air Base in the Gulf state of Qatar.
It added that the Air Force's office of Special Investigation was reviewing information about the aircraft and the "loss of civilian lives - to include video documentation and the source of social media posts."
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