9-month-old Afghan refugee on C-17 military jet from Germany dies after landing in Philadelphia

·2 min read
  • A 9-month-old baby girl evacuee from Afghanistan died after arriving in Philadelphia on a C-17 military plane from Germany.

  • The child, who was accompanied by her father on the flight with other evacuees, died Wednesday.

  • The baby became "unresponsive" on the flight from Germany's Ramstein Air Base to Philadelphia International Airport, a Department of Defense spokesman said.

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Afghanistan-Qatar air base-US military
Service members prepare to board evacuees from Afghanistan onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster lll at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar August 22, 2021. U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Kylie Barrow/Handout via REUTERS

A 9-month-old baby girl evacuee from Afghanistan has died after arriving in Philadelphia on a C-17 military plane from Germany, a Department of Defense spokesman confirmed Thursday. 

The child, who was accompanied by her father, died Wednesday, the official said. Her death marks the first known fatality of an evacuee from Afghanistan on US soil, CBS News reported

Department of Defense spokesman Army Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell told Insider in a statement that during a C-17 flight hauling other Afghanistan evacuees from Germany's Ramstein Air Base to Philadelphia International Airport, "the crew was notified that an infant was unresponsive."

"The aircrew requested medical assistance and priority air traffic control arrival routing," Mitchell said.

When the plane arrived at the airport at around 9:15 a.m., "emergency medical technicians and an interpreter met the aircraft and the child and father were transported to a children's hospital in Philadelphia where the child was pronounced dead," according to Mitchell.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and family," Mitchell said. 

More than 31,000 evacuees from the Afghanistan capital of Kabul had already entered the US between August 17 and August 31, including nearly 24,000 "at risk" Afghan refugees, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Wednesday. 

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