An Afghan woman gave birth on board an US evacuation C-17 Globemaster moments after it landed at the Ramstein airbase in Germany, the US air force said. The woman was among the thousands who have been trying to flee Afghanistan over the past week and was on the second stage of an evacuation flight that had taken off from a base in the Middle East.
U.S. Air Mobility Command said in a statement that the woman went into labor suddenly during the flight to Ramstein Air Base from an undisclosed Middle Eastern staging base. Both the mother and baby are said to be doing fine, according to reports.
Quite an Unnatural Birth
The unnamed Afghan woman gave birth to a baby girl in the cargo bay of the C-17 aircraft after suddenly going into labor and experiencing complications. The U.S. Air Mobility commander described the entire situation via a tweet on late Saturday.
"The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilise and save the mother's life," the tweet read.
"Upon landing, Airmen from the 86th MDG came aboard and delivered the child in the cargo bay of the aircraft," the statement said. The mother and the child were then immediately transported to a nearby medical facility and are in "good condition", mentioned the tweet.
Keeping in mind the evacuation procedure, the name of the woman hasn't been revealed. However, reports say that the crew initially panicked but then took control of the situation, which didn't raise further complication during the delivery.
Luckily, the new mother wasn't alone. The woman was traveling with other family members, and photos shared by the Air Force show her being wheeled off the C-17 on a stretcher. The child in all likelihood will get a German citizenship given that she was born there and keeping in mind the international law.
Although, the mother and the baby are still in hospital, it's not yet known if the family is with her or has been taken back to the airbase. Officials say that Ramstein Air Base will soon be able to accommodate up to 7,500 refugees as they are processed for transit to onward destinations.
The Pentagon said Saturday the United States has managed to evacuate a meager 17,000 people, including 2,500 Americans, from Kabul in the past week and 3,800 on Friday.
Up to 15,000 Americans need to be evacuated and the administration hopes to move out another 50-60,000 Afghan allies and their families. The news comes amid growing criticism faced by President Joe Biden as videos on social media show the utter pandemonium and violence outside the airport.