22 june 2013
Uttarakhand: Air Force deploys Mi-26, world’s largest chopper, for rescue work
Dehradun: As rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand gather pace, the Indian Air Force has deployed an Mi-26 – the largest helicopter in the world – to augment operations.
The chopper, which is usually used to transport goods and troops, is now being used to maintain supply of aviation fuel, critical for other smaller choppers that are already in service to help evacuate thousands stranded across the state.
The Army and Air Force have deployed over 40 helicopters for rescue efforts, but a shortage of fuel is turning into a concern. Bringing in new supplies is also very tough since landslides have destroyed several important roads.
The Mi-26 will carry fuel to Gauchar in Chamoli district – a landing ground that has been activated by the Air Force – where other choppers can refuel.
It will also transport heavy equipment required in repair and construction of roads that is being carried out by the Border Roads Organisation. The giant chopper will also support the construction of temporary helipads to enable smaller helicopters in the evacuating process of those stranded in various parts of the state.