US Marines confirm how many people they rescued following viral C-17 cargo jet photo

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By stefan armitage

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US Marines have revealed how many people they successfully evacuated on a packed C-17 cargo jet after the original photo went viral on social media.

Earlier this week, an image showing the inside of a US military plane crammed with hundreds of Afghan refugees was widely shared across social media.

After the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster II cargo jet took off from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport following the Taliban's sudden political takeover of the city, it successfully landed in the Al Udeid Air Base of Qatar.

At the time, a defense official told military news site Defense One that "approximately 640 Afghan civilians disembarked the aircraft when it arrived at its destination" - but now we know the number to be much higher.

During an appearance on CNN’s New Day on Friday (August 20), the C-17 loadmaster, Technical Sergeant Justin Triola, revealed: "Our 640 number was a little bit underestimated, we actually carried 823 to get everybody out of there."

Triola added that the Afghan civilians were "definitely anxious" to get out of the country, and that everybody on board was "thrilled" once the jet took off.

Of the 823 people, it has been revealed that 183 of them were children.

Speaking of the decision to take off without the paperwork properly completed on those on board, as well as filling the plane above its stated maximum capacity, Lieutenant Colonol Eric Kut said: "First and foremost, a lot of people talk about rules and capacity. We were trained to handle that to max perform that aircraft.

"When you have women and children and people’s lives at stake, it’s not about capacity or rules or regulations. It’s about the training to make sure we could handle we could that many people out.

"We were there to do what we were trained to do. We were there to deliver hope and freedom."

On Friday (August 20), President Biden said in a press conference from the White House: "As an American, I offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the US armed forces who are carrying out [the evacuation efforts]. They're incredible."

Featured image credit: UPI / Alamy

US Marines confirm how many people they rescued following viral C-17 cargo jet photo

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

US Marines have revealed how many people they successfully evacuated on a packed C-17 cargo jet after the original photo went viral on social media.

Earlier this week, an image showing the inside of a US military plane crammed with hundreds of Afghan refugees was widely shared across social media.

After the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster II cargo jet took off from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport following the Taliban's sudden political takeover of the city, it successfully landed in the Al Udeid Air Base of Qatar.

At the time, a defense official told military news site Defense One that "approximately 640 Afghan civilians disembarked the aircraft when it arrived at its destination" - but now we know the number to be much higher.

During an appearance on CNN’s New Day on Friday (August 20), the C-17 loadmaster, Technical Sergeant Justin Triola, revealed: "Our 640 number was a little bit underestimated, we actually carried 823 to get everybody out of there."

Triola added that the Afghan civilians were "definitely anxious" to get out of the country, and that everybody on board was "thrilled" once the jet took off.

Of the 823 people, it has been revealed that 183 of them were children.

Speaking of the decision to take off without the paperwork properly completed on those on board, as well as filling the plane above its stated maximum capacity, Lieutenant Colonol Eric Kut said: "First and foremost, a lot of people talk about rules and capacity. We were trained to handle that to max perform that aircraft.

"When you have women and children and people’s lives at stake, it’s not about capacity or rules or regulations. It’s about the training to make sure we could handle we could that many people out.

"We were there to do what we were trained to do. We were there to deliver hope and freedom."

On Friday (August 20), President Biden said in a press conference from the White House: "As an American, I offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the US armed forces who are carrying out [the evacuation efforts]. They're incredible."

Featured image credit: UPI / Alamy