Afghanistan National youth team footballer Zaki Anwari dies in fall from plane at Kabul airport

People swarm the US Air Force plane and Zaki Anwari
Harrowing footage and images showed hundreds of desperate Afghans at Kabul’s airport running across the tarmac. Credit: Twitter/FIFPRO

An national youth team footballer from Afghanistan was one of those who died after falling from a US plane above Kabul.

On Monday, harrowing footage and images showed hundreds of desperate Afghans at Kabul’s airport running across the tarmac and clinging onto moving planes in an attempt to flee the Taliban-controlled country.

Afghanistan's General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports confirmed that footballer Zaki Anwari, reported to be 19, was one of those who fell from a US Air Force C-17 plane after it had taken off.

" The late Anwari is among hundreds of young people who wanted to leave the country," a statement from the department said.

"May he rest in heaven and pray to God for his family, friends and sports colleagues."

The US Air Force said it is has launched an investigation into the plane taking off while swarmed with desperate civilians.

It also said human remains had been found in the wheel well of the aircraft.

Afghans run alongside and cling onto the side of a US military plane as it begins to take off from Kabul

This video contains distressing images

A photo from the US defence department, obtained by news site Defense One, showed roughly 640 Afghans tightly packed on board the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from Kabul to Qatar as evacuation efforts escalated.

A defence official told Defense One the plane was not intending to take on so many passengers but the panicked Afghans clambered on board the plane via its half-open ramp.

A US official told news site Defense One the crew of the military plane made the decision to go instead of removing anyone from the flight.. Credit: US Department of Defense/ Defense One

In a statement, the Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) said it is reviewing all the information available regarding a C-17 aircraft, as well as the loss of civilian lives.

"In addition to online videos and press reports of people falling from the aircraft on departure, human remains were discovered in the wheel well of the C-17 after it landed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar," it added. OSI said its review will be "thorough to ensure we obtain the facts regarding this tragic incident", adding "our hearts go out to the families of the deceased".