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Aviation

World's largest cargo plane leaves UK with relief supplies to India

May 7, 2021: The world’s largest cargo plane, the massive Antonov 124 aircraft of Volga Dnepr, has left Belfast flying three 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators as part of the United Kingdom’s latest response to India’s Covid-19 crisis.

Staff at Belfast International Airport worked through the night to load 60 tonnes of life-saving kit, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
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Staff at Belfast International Airport worked through the night to load 60 tonnes of life-saving kit, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

May 7, 2021: The world’s largest cargo plane, the massive Antonov 124 aircraft of Volga Dnepr, has left Belfast flying three 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators as part of the United Kingdom’s latest response to India’s Covid-19 crisis.

Staff at Belfast International Airport worked through the night to load 60 tonnes of life-saving kit, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Each of the three oxygen generation units –housed in 40ft freight containers – are able to produce 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough to treat 50 people at a time on ventilators. Northern Ireland health minister, Robin Swann, was at Belfast International Airport to see the generators dispatched.

He said: “Oxygen supply is under severe stress in India’s health system and the three oxygen generation units that we are sending today are each capable of producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute. I sincerely hope this equipment goes some way to easing the pressure and pain the country is currently experiencing.”

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said, “As we battle this global pandemic together, the vital equipment we are providing, including ventilators and oxygen generators, will help save lives and support India’s healthcare system. As one United Kingdom, we will continue to do all we can to help the Indian health authorities turn the tide on this dreadful virus.”

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said: “The UK is sending surplus oxygen generators from Northern Ireland to India. This life-saving equipment will support the country's hospitals as they care for vulnerable Covid-19 patients. The UK and India are working together to tackle this pandemic. No one is safe until we are all safe.”

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