Baby on Afghan Evacuation Flight Dies After Landing in US

It's the first known death of an Afghan evacuee on US soil
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2021 12:36 AM CDT
9-Month-Old Afghan Evacuee Dies After Landing in US
Afghan evacuees wait to board buses at Terminal A East baggage area at Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021.   (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

(Newser) – A flight bringing Afghan evacuees to the US had a heartbreaking aftermath Wednesday night when a 9-month-old girl aboard the plane died soon after landing in Philadelphia. The baby and her father had evacuated Afghanistan to Germany, and during the flight from Germany to the US she suffered a medical emergency, the details of which are not clear, ABC News reports. She was unresponsive when the C-17 military transport plane landed, and emergency medical personnel met the plane and took her and her father to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, CBS News reports. It is the first known death of an Afghan evacuee on US soil.

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The US had admitted almost 24,000 at-risk Afghans by Tuesday, and as of Thursday, more than 36,000 remained at military bases overseas awaiting security screenings and processing. The Philadelphia airport processed 3,654 evacuees who arrived between August 28 and September 1; Virginia's Dulles International Airport is also assisting with the evacuations. The Philadelphia Police Department's special victims unit will investigate the death due to the child's age, and the city's medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and family," says a Defense Department spokesperson. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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