The remains of a body found in the landing gear of a US aircraft that left Kabul have been identified as 19-year-old footballer Zaki Anwari.
Anwari, who had represented Afghanistan at national youth level, was one of many people who desperately tried to flee the region by rushing to Kabul airport following the Taliban’s recent takeover.
How horrendously sad. https://t.co/lHhGQq2SkA
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) August 19, 2021
Thousands of citizens swarmed the airport, doing anything they could to try and get on an airplane and evacuate the dangerous area.
Some managed to climb into a bay on the aircraft which holds the landing gear while others who held onto the outside of the plane sadly fell to their deaths once it took off.
But according to East2West News, even those within the landing gear bay weren’t safe with bodies later being discovered once the plane had touched down – the remains of Anwari being one of them.
“Very sad to hear that one of the youths who tried to leave Kabul through grabbing the landing gear bay of a USAF’s C-17A transport aeroplane few days ago was a player of Afghanistan’s National youth soccer team, Zaki Anwari,” journalist Babak Taghvaee said in a tweet.
#BREAKING: Shocking scene from #Kabul Airport. Several Afghans who had grabbed landing gear of a #USAF‘s C-17A transport aircraft to flee from #Afghanistan dropped from air as the airplane took off! This is why #USArmy wants to keep them away from the C-17As! pic.twitter.com/b9zh7tGTWY
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) August 16, 2021
“His body parts was found in the landing gear bay.”
The Khorasan Lions, the Afghan national team, also confirmed his tragic death in a post in social media.
“Two days before and after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, to go to America and find a better future, he rode on the wheels of the American aeroplane with several other compatriots who fell to the ground while flying with several other compatriots,” the team said.
“May his soul rest in peace and his memory be remembered.”
Zaki Anwari, a footballer of the Afghanistan Youth National Team was one of the unfortunate persons who was shown falling from a USAF Boeing C-17 plane while it just taken off, his identity was confirmed by the Afghan Directorate of Sports. pic.twitter.com/ftnqY0dJEJ
— Iftikhar Firdous (@IftikharFirdous) August 19, 2021
#ZakiAnwari – Afghanistan’s youth national team football player was one of 5 who fell from thexUSAF C-17 on Monday and died.
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) August 19, 2021
R.I.P to the Afghanistan National youth team footballer Zaki Anwari who died falling from the USA plane at Kabul airport ♥️ pic.twitter.com/J4wwGYUMDF
— MUHQNews (@MUHQNews_) August 19, 2021
-Zaki Anwari, a young #Afghan footballer, died on Monday after falling from #US #military ac
-Anzari’s was crushed while wheels were retracting
-His human remains were found in wheel well of 1 of #USAF C-17 planes that departed from #Kabul pic.twitter.com/TOpopJlQub
— Insightful Geopolitics (@InsightGL) August 19, 2021
Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and teammates of young Afghan national team footballer Zaki Anwari, who reportedly died in a fall from a U.S. plane at Kabul airport on Monday. pic.twitter.com/2DgulUw1HD
— FIFPRO (@FIFPRO) August 19, 2021
Friends, family, football fans and former teammates flocked to social media to pay tribute to Anwari, who by all accounts was a talented player with a bright future ahead of him.
In a chilling final Facebook post before his sad passing, Anwari said: “You’re the painter of your life. Don’t give the paint brush to anyone else.”
Rest In Peace, Zaki.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter / Afghan Soccer Federation