Captain Neil Steyl and his wife, Lizanne, with the mercy-flight Boeing 727, nicknamed “Irene”, in the background. The couple both work for Safe Air Company in Nairobi.
A South African pilot, a multinational crew and a 41-year-old Boeing 727 saved the lives of more than 600 displaced Afghan people on Friday as they hot-footed it into and out of Kabul’s airport in a race against time and possible further bomb attacks.
“We received a desperate call from the US state department’s officials in Kabul after the suicide bombing attack on Thursday night [which killed 170 Afghani’s and 12 US soldiers] asking whether we would be willing to assist with mercy flights,” Captain Niel Steyl told the Mail & Guardian from Kulob in Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan.
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