Chennai: Nearly 35 tonnes of equipment, including 450 empty oxygen cylinders donated by the UK and airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Britain arrived here early on Tuesday.
According to the Indian Red Cross Society, UK donated 5,000 cylinders to India through it to meet the emergency requirement for empty oxygen cylinders during the second wave of coronavirus in the country.
Of these, 900 cylinders were meant for Tamil Nadu.
The equipment were brought from Brize Norton, by one of two IAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft that earlier left for the UK on May 2 from its Jamnagar air base in Gujarat to bring the supplies, a Defence release said.
"The aircraft which left the Jamnagar air base on May 2, flew non-stop for 11 hours and 30 minutes to reach Brize Norton in the UK to airlift the critical life support equipment."
"The first aircraft landed at 0200 local time and with a quick turnaround, flew back to Chennai with 35 tonnes of equipment including 450 empty oxygen cylinders for India," it said, adding, the flight reached the city around 5 am on Tuesday.
An IRCS official, who received the oxygen cylinders, said 900 of them were meant for Tamil Nadu.
"We received the first batch of 450 cylinders this morning and the second consignment will be delivered (later) today," M Karnan, Manager, Administration, IRCS, Tamil Nadu state branch, told PTI.
Karnan received the cylinders on behalf of IRCS and handed over them to HLL Lifecare Ltd which would distribute to hospitals in consultation with the state health department.