US pilot helps save Afghan mother’s life as she gives birth on evacuation flight

An Afghan woman gave birth aboard an American evacuation plane moments after it landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the U.S. Air Force said.

The woman gave birth to a baby girl in the hold of an Air Force C-17 plane on Saturday local time after giving birth and experiencing complications during the flight, the U.S. Air Mobility Command said on Twitter .

“The commander of the plane decided to descend to altitude to increase the atmospheric pressure in the plane, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” the tweet said.

The woman was part of a group fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan and was part of the second leg of an evacuation flight that took off from a base in the Middle East.

Both mother and baby were taken to a medical facility and were in good condition, according to the tweet.

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Images released by the US military showed the mother lying on a stretcher being removed from the plane by US soldiers at the base in southwest Germany.

A week after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, operations to evacuate foreign countries continue under extreme conditions marked by scenes of panic and despair at Kabul airport.

Since August 14, about 17,000 people have been evacuated by the United States, including 2,500 Americans, the US government said.

A NATO official said at least 20 people had died in the past seven days in and around the airport. Some were shot and others died in stampede, witnesses said.

The United States has obtained the green light from Berlin for some of the evacuees to be directed to Germany, where they have a number of bases.

About 1,150 people landed at the base in Ramstein on Saturday, from where they are expected to depart for the United States in a few days, a spokesperson for the base said.

Reuters / AFP

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Kristina McManus

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