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9-month-old Afghan girl dies after evacuation flight lands in Philadelphia

The baby died at a hospital after she suffered a medical emergency during the flight. A cause of death was not immediately released.
Afghan refugees arrive at Philadelphia international airport on August 30, 2021.
Afghan refugees arrive at Philadelphia international airport on August 30, 2021.City of Philadelphia

A 9-month-old Afghan girl died Wednesday after a flight carrying refugees from Afghanistan landed in Philadelphia, authorities said.

The baby, whom authorities did not identify, was traveling from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Philadelphia International Airport on a C-17 when the crew was notified that the infant was unresponsive, Department of Defense spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell told NBC News in a statement.

Emergency medical technicians and an interpreter met the flight when it landed about 9:15 p.m., and the child and father were taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, according to the official. The child was pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and family,” Mitchell said.

No other details, including a cause of death, were immediately released.

The girl was among hundreds of Afghan refugees on several planes that landed at the Philadelphia airport this week, according to NBC Philadelphia. Her death came just days after the last U.S. flight out of Kabul took off a minute before midnight local time Monday, capping a bloody and chaotic end to America’s longest war and opening a new, uncertain chapter for Afghanistan.

Since July, the U.S. has helped airlift more than 120,000 people out of Afghanistan, including roughly 5,500 Americans. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that roughly 100 to 200 Americans still remained in Afghanistan who have “some intention to leave,” many of whom are dual citizens.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the refugees arriving in the city's airport were given food and medical assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. After taking some time to rest, Kenney said the Afghan refugees were bussed to a military base in New Jersey, according to NBC Philadelphia.