Some of the last flights to leave Afghanistan before the terror attack near the Kabul airport on Thursday arrived at Dulles International Airport.
A row of airplanes sat stationary at Dulles for hours. Commissary trucks could be seen bringing food and water to people on board.
One man who escaped Kabul described a harrowing journey. In a place crawling with travelers, passersby at Dulles could hardly imagine the journey Sayeed Ullah had just taken. For 10 days, Ullah said he tried to flee his hometown of Kabul.
“Every day we would go to the airport. Taliban would not let us go in,” he said.
He saw panicked crowds of people in the Kabul concourse. A woman was crushed in a stampede in front of him.
“She dropped and everybody’s feet — she died right in front of me,” Ullah said.
His flight into Dulles landed at 4 p.m. Wednesday. But he wasn’t allowed off the plane until 14 hours later, early Thursday.
Apprehension spread through the plane’s cabin during the wait, he said.
“They were crying, there were sick people in the airplane. There were ladies all dusty, dirty in the plane,” he said.
Ullah’s wait wasn’t over. He was told he needed to catch a flight to California but didn’t know when.
He said he was grateful to have escaped the Taliban but had no idea what would come next.
“We’re very glad to be here,” he said.
Inova Hospital and other health care organizations in Northern Virginia are caring for sick and injured Afghan refugees, an Inova spokeswoman said.