Wali Salek was at home with his family in Kabul on Monday when he heard a loud sound from the roof.
“It was like a truck tyre exploding,” said the 49-year-old security guard. He rushed three flights up to the terrace and found, to his horror, two bodies.
His wife fainted at the sight.
A neighbour who had been watching TV told him they were the two men seen falling from a plane in a video that went viral as the Taliban took control of Kabul.
The two, who were among the hundreds at Kabul airport desperate for a way out of the city, had clung to the wheels of a US Air Force aircraft. Moments later, the bodies of the men fell on to Mr Salek’s house four km from the airport.
Parts of the terrace were damaged by the impact.
“The stomach and heads of the bodies had split open. I took a shawl and a scarf to cover the bodies and my relatives and I took them to the mosque,” he said via video call to his relative who stays in Delhi.
The birth certificate found in the pocket of on one of the bodies revealed the man to be Safiullah Hotak, a doctor.
The second man was Fida Mohammad. Both were below 30.
After the horror of that day, families like the Saleks are watching Kabul transform before their eyes.
“Kabul’s streets are deserted…no man or woman can be seen. You don’t know what will happen from one hour to the next,” he shared.
“There is an atmosphere of fear. If I get the chance, I will also leave Afghanistan and go to some other country.”
In a series of images and videos that have gone viral after the Taliban’s takeover, groups of people are seen at the Kabul airport, some huddling on the wings of US aircraft and others running with the plane on the runway, in their insane attempts to get out of the city.
The US Air Force has said it is examining an incident on Monday in which multiple people were killed when hundreds desperate to leave the country swarmed a C-17 cargo plane as it was attempting to take off.
Human remains were found in the plane’s wheel well after it landed in Qatar, the US said.