A former Afghan national youth team footballer died in the landing gear of a US aircraft while trying to escape from Kabul, it has been reported.
The body of 19-year-old Zaki Anwari was found aboard the US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft, which was carrying hundreds of fleeing Afghan refugees, according to local media.
Anwari is believed to have died after attempting to hold onto the outside of the American military aircraft, according to the Afghan general directorate of physical education and sports.
He is believed to have been caught in the landing gear and his remains were found in a wheel well by the US aircraft crew.
An image from inside the plane showed 640 men, women and children packed closely together.
Initial report had said the said footballer fell off the plane but it was later confirmed that he died in the landing gear of the aircraft.
Anvari, 19, was a promising young footballer who represented his national team at youth level as a 16-year-old back in 2018.
He is one of many Afghan’s to have reportedly lost their lives attempting to flee the capital city of Kabul as the Taliban take control of the city.
Tributes have poured in for the teenage footballer from distraught friends and former team-mates as well as the assistant manager of the men’s national team, Ali Askar Lali.
Journalist Babak Taghvaee reported Anvari’s death on Twitter, writing: “Very sad to hear that one of the youths who tried to leave Kabul through grabbing the landing gear of a USAF’s C-17A transport airplane [a] few days ago was a player of Afghanistan’s National youth soccer team, Zaki Anvari.