MP: IAF C-17 plane ferries oxygen tanker to Guj for refilling

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(EDs: Updating) Bhopal, Apr 23 (PTI) An Indian Air Force C-17 transport plane on Friday carried an empty oxygen tanker from Indore in Madhya Pradesh to Jamnagar in neighbouring Gujarat, an official said here.

After refilling, the 30 metric tonne-capacity tanker will return to Indore by road, he added.

'The IAF plane landed at Indore airport at 3:15 pm and left for Jamnagar with the tanker soon after,' the official said.

The airlifting of empty tankers to oxygen filling sites using IAF planes was started after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan urged the Union government to help his state fight a surge in COVID-19 cases, he said.

As the rear portion of the tanker could not enter the plane's cargo hold properly, the tanker's mudguard was removed, said Indore airport director Aryama Sanyal.

The aircraft will return to Indore on Saturday to transport another empty tanker, Sanyal added.

Rohan Saxena, the district official overseeing the operation, said an oxygen tanker takes 20 hours to reach Jamnagar from Indore by road, while the plane will cover the distance in an hour.

Madhya Pradesh on Friday recorded 13,590 coronavirus cases, 1,206 more than on Thursday.

The IAF on Friday tweeted that its C-17 and IL-76 aircraft airlifted empty oxygen containers for refiling across the country. PTI MAS HWP BNM KRK KRK