IAF plane flies three empty oxygen tankers from Indore to Raipur

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Indore, Apr 27 (PTI) An Indian Air Force C-17 transport plane on Wednesday ferried three empty oxygen tankers from Indore to Raipur for refilling, an official said.

The aircraft took off from Jamnagar air base in Gujarat to reach Indore and later flew with empty tankers of 30, 24 and 16 ton capacity to Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

Parts of the outer body of the tankers had to be removed or cut for fitting them inside the plane which took nearly five hours, said Aryma Sanyal, director of the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport here.

While around 10 tankers have been flown from Indore since April 23, for the first time three tankers were ferried at a time, she added.

The tankers will be loaded with liquid oxygen at the Bhilai Steel Plant, said MP Audyogik Vikas Nigam (MPIDC) Executive Director Rohan Saxena.

It takes 20 hours for a tanker to reach Raipur by road while an IAF sortie takes just an hour, he said.

The tankers will return to Madhya Pradesh by road as oxygen-filled tankers are not transported by air due to safety risks, he added.

The IAF is carrying out such missions across the country as shortages of medical oxygen are plaguing hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

Indore is worst hit by the pandemic in Madhya Pradesh, with a caseload of 1,07,240 including 1,123 deaths. PTI HWP KRK KRK