Afghan stowaway killed in US plane's landing gear fleeing Kabul 'was promising young footballer'

Zaki Anwari reportedly died after falling from the plane (Ariana News)
Zaki Anwari reportedly died after falling from the plane (Ariana News)

An Afghan stowaway killed after falling from a US plane that was taking off at Kabul airport has been identified as a promising young footballer.

Zaki Anwari, a player from the national youth football team, was reportedly among the hundreds of people clinging to a USAF Boeing C-17 as it took off from the Hamid Karzai airport in Afghanistan's capital.

The General Directorate of Sport confirmed to the Afghanistan-based Ariana news agency that the footballer died after falling from the plane. 

The news agency said in a tweet: "The General Directorate of Physical Education & Sports of Afghanistan confirmed Zaki Anwari, a player from the national youth football team, was among hundreds of young people who tried to leave the country by clinging to a US military plane. Anwari fell and died."

Afghan people queue up and board a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021 after Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Shakib RAHMANI / AFP) (Photo by SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Afghan people queue up and board a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan on 19 August. (AP)

A Facebook page dedicated to the Afghan national football team also shared a post announcing the news, with many people commenting and paying tribute to Anwari.

The team wrote: "It is said that Zaki Anwari is one of the players of the national youth team among the victims of the US military airplane."

They added that he tried to get to America to "find a better future" by trying to ride on the wheels of the US airplane. "May his soul rest in peace," the team wrote.

The US and UK have both been scrambling to evacuate personnel and troops from the country amid the Taliban's rapid advance and seizure of power. 

But crowds of people seeking to flee Afghanistan swarmed the airport on Sunday with footage showing many trying to board a moving plane.

Meanwhile, the US Air Force is investigating after human remains were found in the wheel well of one of its C-17 planes that departed from Kabul.

TOPSHOT - Afghan people sit inside a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021 after Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Shakib RAHMANI / AFP) (Photo by SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Some Afghans managed to make it onto US military planes. (Getty)

US Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in a statement to ABC: "OSI is leading the review in coordination with the US Air Force's Air Mobility Command and international partners since it involves the loss of life on US military aircraft.

"OSI's review will be thorough to ensure we obtain the facts regarding this tragic incident. Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased."

Elsewhere, photos have emerged of Afghans trying to hand babies and children's over razor wire fences to British soldiers as the Taliban takes control.