New Delhi: On 09 May 20, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out its latest task as part of its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations by assisting the state government of Andhra Pradesh in tackling the Vizag gas leak. Based on the request from Industries and Commerce department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, IAF airlifted 8.3 T of essential chemicals required to effectively control the gas leak that occurred at Styrene Monomer Storage tank in LG Polymers at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.
Two An-32 transport aircraft of IAF were deployed to airlift approximately 1100 kg of Tertiary Butylcatechol and 7.2 T of Polymerization Inhibitors and Green Retarders from Mundra, Gujarat to Vizag in Andhra Pradesh. These chemicals were required to reduce the toxicity of the gas being leaked from the storage tank. The IAF also facilitated the move of Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum from Delhi and a specialist on Styrene Gas from Mumbai to Vizag, the two individuals were required to oversee the operations being undertaken to control the gas leak.
Also, as a part of meeting the emerging requirements of Govt of India during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, IAF continued to airlift essential supplies required to equip state governments and supporting agencies to combat the contagion effectively. A total of 703 T of load has been airlifted since the time IAF began its operations to assist the government of India on 25 Mar 20. A total of 30 heavy and medium airlift assets have been earmarked by the IAF for undertaking any COVID-19 related task.