Chennai: An Indian Air Force (IAF) C17 Globemaster transport aircraft carrying 35 toones of aid including 450 oxygen cylinders, each with a capacity of 46.6 liters, landed at the city airport in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The cylinders were donated by the British Oxygen Company (BOC) and were consigned to the Indian Red Cross Society in Chennai.
After the cargo was unloaded, the first C-17 took off by around 7:45 AM. Chennai Airport authorities said that they had facilitated the smooth movement of the IAF aircraft.
The IAF aircraft had got airborne from Jamnagar Airbase on Sunday, 2nd May to Brize Norton in the UK to lift critical life support equipment. The aircraft flew non-stop for 11 and a half hours to reach the UK.
The massive 4-engine, T-tailed aircraft landed at the city’s International airport at 5:15am, following which Chennai Customs facilitated a speedy cargo clearance within half an hour. Another load of 450 cylinders is expected to arrive in the city via another IAF C-17 transport aircraft in the afternoon.
“Showcasing the potential of Indo-British partnership to fight the pandemic. An IAF aircraft carrying 450 oxygen cylinders arrives in Chennai (India). Grateful to the UK for the support” tweeted Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry.
The 5000-cylinder aid provided by the British Oxygen Company comes at a time when India is ramping up efforts in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic second wave that is raging across the country.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital city witnessed an all-time high of 6,150 covid-19 cases on Monday, whereas Tamil Nadu saw 20,952 cases. Active cases in the state are at 1.23lakh.
Indian Air Force has been working relentlessly to ensure the smooth logistics of the oxygen containers, cryogenic tankers, concentrators among others aid from various parts of the world. Global help and support has been pouring in over the last few weeks in the form of PPE Kits, raw materials for vaccine production, ventilators among others.