IAF airlifts empty oxygen containers to filling stations across India

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force on Friday airlifted empty oxygen containers to various filling stations across the country and deployed its aircraft for transportation of medical personnel and medicines in helping civil authorities deal with surging COVID-19 cases.

The IAF deployed its C-17 and IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft for transportation of oxygen containers to filling stations, officials said.

The oxygen containers will be transported by road or rail to various hospitals once they are refilled, they said Containers filled with oxygen are generally not transported on board military aircraft as they are considered combustible and may pose risk to the planes.

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“C-17 and IL-76 aircraft airlifted cryogenic oxygen containers from Air Force Station Hindan to Panagarh for recharging, in support of the fight against COVID-19.

Similar airlift tasks are underway across the country,” the IAF tweeted.

Officials said the IAF has also deployed its aircraft for transportation of medical personnel and medicines to various places across the country as part of its COVID-19 response.

India is struggling with a second wave of the coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of the rising COVID-19 cases.

The country recorded a one-day tally of 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases and 2,263 new fatalities, according to official data released on Friday.