The United States Air Force confirmed that a single Boeing C-17 transport aircraft evacuated over 800 people out of Kabul, Afghanistan, describing it as a record.

On August 15, 2021, as thousands of people were trying to flee Kabul after the Taliban entered the city, reports emerged of a C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft with around 800 people on board.

Initially, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) of the USAF reported that only 640 Afghan citizens had boarded the aircraft. 

But on August 20, 2021, it confirmed the initial number, saying that as many as 823 people were flown out of Hamid Karzai International Airport by this single flight, numbered RCH871.

“The initial count of 640 inadvertently included only adults. 183 children were also aboard,” the AMC explained in a tweet. “The original number was based on how many bus seats were filled departing the aircraft and didn’t account for the number of children in laps.”

In normal conditions, this aircraft is meant to transport a maximum of 134 troops.  The AMC confirmed that this flight was a record in passengers for the C-17 Globemaster III.

The total passenger count of 823 is a record for the C-17. (Credit: U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

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European nations have been evacuating people from Kabul, with more flights taking off after chaos in previous days.