Witness describes his attempt to rescue a baby girl after the Kabul airport explosion: “She died on my hands”

A large crowd of people were gathered near the main airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, hoping to evacuate, when at least two explosions rocked the area Thursday, resulting in a “number of U.S. and civilian casualties,” the Pentagon said. In an interview on CBSN, an Afghan interpreter who was there when the first blast went off described the chaotic aftermath as he attempted to save a baby girl who was caught in the explosion. 

The man, whom CBS News is identifying only as Carl for his safety, said he was at the airport trying to “get on a plane and get the hell out of here.” He said there was a crowd of people trying to submit their paperwork to get into the airport and get a spot on an evacuation flight.

After being told he had to wait an hour before he could be checked in, Carl said he went back to his truck, which was parked near the airport. That’s when the explosion happened near the airport’s Abbey Gate, one of four main entrances.

Three sources have told CBS News that a suicide bomber was responsible for the Abbey Gate explosion. A short time later, a second bombing occurred at a nearby hotel. 

“A lot of people got hurt. People were laying on the ground,” Carl told CBS News’ Vladimir Duthiers.

That’s when he said he noticed a baby girl among the wounded. He said he picked up the child and took her to his truck to take her to the hospital. 

“There was a lot of traffic. I had to get out and pick her up again,” he said. “I took her to the hospital, but she died on my hands. … I tried. I did my best to help her.” 

Explosions outside Kabul airport claim casualties
Injured people being carried to a hospital after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2021.

Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Carl said he’s been around “a lot of explosions” before, but the one at the airport was particularly bad.

“Everything that’s going on right now is heartbreaking,” he said. “This whole country is falling apart.” 

U.S. officials have called the explosion “the result of a complex attack.” The second explosion was at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance away, officials said. 

On Wednesday, officials from the U.S. and Britain warned citizens not to go to the city’s airport due to a the threat of an “imminent attack.” Several countries paused their evacuation efforts in Kabul because of unstable security prior to the attack. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *