At least 5 killed after airdropped aid to Gaza falls on them

ByAbeer Salman, Khader Zaanoun, Sophie Tann, Paul P. Murphy, Celine Alkhaldi and Kareem Khaddar, CNN
Friday, March 8, 2024
At least 5 killed after airdropped aid to Gaza falls on them
At least 5 killed after airdropped aid to Gaza falls on them

At least five people were killed and 10 others injured when airdropped aid packages fell on them in the Al Shati camp west of Gaza City, according to a journalist on the scene.

Khader Al Zaanoun told CNN he witnessed the aid packages falling from planes over the Al Shati camp on Friday but cannot confirm which nation was behind the air drop.

Muhammad Al-Sheikh, Head of Emergency Care Department at Al Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City confirmed five people were killed in the incident.

Some of those injured in the incident and transferred to Al Shifa are in serious condition, according to Al-Sheikh.

In a video obtained by CNN on Friday, an airdrop goes wrong when the parachute on a pallet malfunctions. The pallet and its contents can be seen falling at a high speed towards a residential building near the Fairoz Towers in western Gaza.

As the aid races towards the ground, free-falling bags are also seen coming apart in a shower of debris, and later seen and heard impacting the ground with audible loud thuds.

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While most of the other parachutes appear to have deployed properly, the pallets are still falling at a potentially dangerous speed, which could have made it difficult for anyone to get out of its way as it touched down on the ground.

In a separate incident on Thursday, footage obtained by CNN shows dozens of parachutes carrying parcels descending from a plane conducting an air drop.

The video was filmed in an area called Al-Suddaniya, near the northern city of Beit Lahia. People can be heard screaming as the parachutes get closer to the ground.

The US and other countries have been air-dropping humanitarian aid into Gaza amid warnings from the United Nations that hundreds of thousands in the besieged enclave are on the brink of famine.

The first US drop took place on Saturday, delivering 38,000 meals along the Gaza coastline in a combined operation with Jordan.

After the plans were announced by US President Joe Biden last Friday, aid agencies criticized them as ineffective given the scale of the need in Gaza.

Richard Gowan, the International Crisis Group's UN director, said: "Humanitarian workers always complain that airdrops are good photo opportunities but a lousy way to deliver aid."

A journalist based in northern Gaza told CNN that Palestinians in northern Gaza are struggling to make use of aid recently air dropped by the US and Jordan, because it does not include essential food supplies.

Abdel Qader Al Sabbah told CNN that the air drops of aid are "useless" calling for items that can be stored and used over several days rather than single portions to be eaten on the day.

"You are lucky if you even get a hold of these meals...I don't even bother to go searching for these aid parcels because people are always fighting over them," he said.

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