MI-26 helicopter roped in for relief operations in J&K

World's biggest helicopter MI-26, capable of carrying heavy load, was on Wednesday deployed for the ongoing relief operations in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir by Chandigarh-based 12 Wing of the Indian Air Force.

Chandigarh: World's biggest helicopter MI-26, capable of carrying heavy load, was on Wednesday deployed for the ongoing relief operations in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir by Chandigarh-based 12 Wing of the Indian Air Force.

The MI-26 will be operating ex-Awantipur in Kashmir and will prove to be very effective in flood relief, a defence release said here today.

"This will also assist in infrastructure development as it can carry heavy machinery and load in single sortie. This is world's biggest helicopter and can lift 30 tonnes of load," it said.

The MI-26 was also used during rescue operations at the time of Uttarakhand's natural calamity last year.

"The deployment of MI-26 will help in speedy repair of road bridges and other essential infrastructure, in addition to supply of essentials," it said.

"We have been conducting non-stop sorties during the past four days to evacuate people from flooded areas of Srinagar," Group Capt Sameer Bhalla, Station Commander, 12 Wing, said.

The 12 Wing has also opened a relief camp at Chandigarh Air Force Station and the rescued people who are brought here are being given medical facilities and food while their transportation for onward journey by bus and rail is also arranged, he said.

Both the squadrons of 12 Wing--48 Squadron (AN-32) and 44 Squadron (IL-76)-- have been conducting non-stop sorties to provide assistance in the relief and rescue operations, the officer added.

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