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Anger Over Photo Showing Near 'Empty' Plane Leaving Kabul

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Anger Over Photo Showing Near 'Empty' Plane Leaving Kabul

A former Royal Marine has tweeted a photo of an 'empty' plane leaving Kabul, saying he fears 'people will be left behind'.

Paul 'Pen' Farthing, who runs animal welfare charity Nowzad, has been sharing updates from the Afghanistan capital after the Taliban seized power last week.

Credit: Facebook/Nowzad
Credit: Facebook/Nowzad

He has spoken of his efforts to get his wife Kaisa to safety, and confirmed she was finally on the way home to her native Norway.


A photo from inside the plane showed hundreds of seats which appeared to be empty, despite the fact that there are hordes of people desperately trying to get out of Afghanistan at the moment.

Paul, who is still in Kabul with other staff members from the charity, tweeted: "Kaisa is on her way home! BUT this aircraft is empty... scandalous as thousands wait outside #Kabul airport being crushed as they cannot get in Sadly people will be left behind when this mission is over as we CANNOT get it right."

Many people commented to express their frustration with one writing: "Empty? That's outrageous. It doesn't make sense."


Another person asked: "Why are they letting a plane go out empty?"

A third wrote: "This is disgusting. It could have had you, your team and animals on being that empty!"

A fourth added: "Great news about Kaisa, but desperately sad the aircraft is empty."

While some people tweeted at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and various MPs, others pointed out that the plane was destined for Norway and unlikely a British aircraft.


According to Sky News, the Ministry of Defence has since confirmed that the plane Kaisa was on was not one of its aircraft.

Paul 'Pen' Farthing. Credit: Nowzad
Paul 'Pen' Farthing. Credit: Nowzad

Paul had previously explained how he had tried to evacuate his wife and a pregnant employee, but they had been caught in a 'stampede' outside Kabul's airport as they attempted to get on a flight.

They were then taken to a safe house, feeling 'distraught, upset and frightened'.


Speaking to Sky News, Paul described how he and his wife decided to make the journey to the airport while it was still dark, in order to avoid huge crowds of 'at least a couple of thousand people' that have formed there each day.

He said: "Going at night obviously has its own hazards - it was the choice of two evils and thankfully it paid off."

Paul said he also managed to get his pregnant country manager and her young son to the airport 'very, very early this morning, before other people had come out to make their own attempt'.

He added: "This is an absolute screw-up of an evacuation. We are going to be watching some absolutely horrific scenes."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@PenFarthing

Topics: World News, News

Jess Hardiman
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