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Kabul airport stampede: 2-year-old daughter of interpreter for US firm among 7 killed

The interpreter along with her entire family fell to the ground as crowd built up and she late found the child was crushed to death
UPDATED AUG 22, 2021
Evacuees from Kabul sit inside a military aircraft as they arrive at Tashkent Airport on August 17, 2021, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Photo by Marc Tessensohn/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)
Evacuees from Kabul sit inside a military aircraft as they arrive at Tashkent Airport on August 17, 2021, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (Photo by Marc Tessensohn/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)

A massive stampede at the Kabul airport has reportedly killed at least seven people as panicked Afghans rush to flee the country in the wake of the Taliban siege last week. Among those dead is the two-year-old daughter of a man who used to work as an interpreter for an American company. There has also been debate surrounding the actual number of the deceased with eyewitnesses claiming the actual figure is much higher than what's being reported.

News of this comes amidst intense flak drawn by US president Joe Biden who withdrew troops as the Taliban reinstated the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. With people trapped in Afghanistan pleading Biden to rescue them, harrowing news of locals dying in their desperate attempt to flee the country has also made headlines. Videos of civilians falling from an evacuation aircraft midflight has also rattled the globe. Photo of a child being passed over a barbed wire has left the entire planet heartbroken at the plight of those left stranded. The mother of the toddler who was killed in the stampede shared a similarly horrifying recount of the 'pure terror' she felt upon realizing what had happened to her child. 


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As huge crowds of people waited at Kabul airport in scorching heat just to secure a spot on evacuation flights, among them was the family of the interpreter who was trying to leave with her family. As the crowd built up, the interpreter along with her entire family fell to the ground. She reportedly soon lost sight of her daughter and subsequently found that the child was crushed to death. "I felt pure terror," the woman told The New York Times. "I couldn't save her."

Sky News reported that the chaotic scene at the airport saw paratroopers pulling people from the crowd, with medics rushing "from the next casualty to the next, then the next and the next." The crowd was also being sprayed by hoses in an attempt to cool them down, the outlet added. The Independent also reported their correspondent witnessing several deaths caused by both the stampede as well as the extreme heat at Kabul airport. The journalist, identified as Kim Sengupta, claimed the official number of fatalities was 12, but the actual figure was certainly much higher. 

Displaced Afghans reach out for aid from a local Muslim organization at a makeshift IDP camp on August 10, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban has taken control of six provincial capitals, among other towns and trade routes, since the United States accelerated withdrawal of its forces this year. Afghan families from Kunduz, Takhar and Baghlan provinces have arrived in Kabul in greater numbers, fleeing the Taliban advance. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

"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," Sengupta said reports Business Insider. In a report published by The Independent, the journalist described witnessing a young girl no older than eight, lifting the shroud of a dead body, and fainting as soon as she realizes its her mother. 

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem however blamed the Kabul airport deaths on America, reports Associated Press. Speaking to an Iranian state channel, Naeem said: "The Americans announced that we would take you to America with us and people gathered at Kabul airport. If it was announced right now in any country in the world, would people not go?"