Afghan woman gives birth on Turkish Airlines evacuation flight

Turkish Airlines crew members hold newborn Havva during an evacuation flight from Kabul to Birmingham.

An Afghan woman successfully gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the middle of an evacuation flight operated by Turkish Airlines.

After leaving her stopover in Dubai, Soman Noori, 26, gave birth at an altitude of 10,000 meters (32,808 feet) in Kuwaiti airspace at 1:00 a.m. GMT, said a statement by Turkey’s national flag carrier on Saturday.

The baby girl was named Havva (Eve, but also a variation on the Turkish Hava or air) by the cabin crew, which assisted in the birth on the flight that was evacuating Afghan citizens working in Afghanistan to the U.K.

After the pregnant passenger told the cabin crew about her labor pains, the crew asked whether there was a doctor on board.

As no doctor was available, the “cabin crew facilitated the birth in line with their training,” the statement said.

After landing in Kuwait as a precaution, the aircraft continued its journey towards their destination Birmingham, England, with the baby and her family.

Founded in 1933, Turkish Airlines has a fleet of 372 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 325 worldwide destinations, including 275 international and 50 domestic.

The Taliban swept into Kabul two weeks ago Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.

The country’s Western-trained security forces collapsed in a matter of days, even before the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops.

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