BIRMINGHAM: An Afghan refugee fleeing to the UK gave birth to a baby girl at 30,000 feet while on an evacuation flight destined for Birmingham.
Soman Noori, 26, was travelling on an evacuation flight from Dubai to Birmingham, having previously left Kabul, when she went into labour in airspace over Kuwait, Turkish Airlines said.
There was no doctor on board the flight, forcing the Turkish Airlines cabin crew to deliver the baby girl, who has been named Havva by her mother and father, 30-year-old husband Taj Moh Hammat.
Her name translates to Eve in English, and she is the couple’s third child.
Turkish Airlines said in a statement that both mother and baby were healthy, and although the flight had landed in Kuwait as a precaution, it then carried on its route to Birmingham and landed at 11.45am.
Photographs and video footage showed Turkish Airlines crew cradling the baby and handing her to her mother.
Soman Noori, 26, started having contractions during the Turkish Airlines flight from Dubai to Birmingham, and gave birth as the plane flew at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) in Kuwaiti airspace.
Noori and her baby, who was named Havva, were both in good health, the statement said. The plane, which was carrying Afghan citizens who had worked with Britain in Afghanistan, landed in Kuwait as a precaution but later continued on to its destination, Turkish Airlines said.
Earlier on Sunday, an Afghan woman gave birth to a baby girl on a US military plane shortly after arriving on an evacuation flight to Germany, the US Air Force tweeted.
During the flight from a staging base in the Middle East, the woman went into labour and began to experience complications, it said.
“The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilise and save the mother’s life,” the US Air Mobility Command said later on Twitter.
Immediately on landing at the Ramstein base, US military medics helped the woman deliver her baby in the cargo hold of the plane.
Mother and child were then transferred to a nearby medical facility “and are in good condition”, it said.
Footage released by the US military showed the mother lying on a stretcher being carried off the plane by US soldiers at the base in southwest Germany.
A week after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, evacuation operations from foreign countries continue under extreme conditions marked by scenes of panic and desperation at Kabul airport.
Since 14 August, about 17,000 people have been evacuated by the US, including 2,500 Americans, the US government said earlier.
The US got the green light from Berlin for some of the evacuees to be directed to Germany, where it has a number of bases.
About 1,150 people landed at the Ramstein base on Saturday, from where they are expected to depart for the United States within days, a base spokesman said.