Coimbatore: Following a major fire outbreak at the Vellalore dump yard on Saturday, on request from the state administration, 109 Helicopter Unit (HU) based at Air Force Station Sulur was pressed into service for fire fighting operations on Monday; besides a Mi-17 V5 helicopter was airborne to carry out a reconnaissance of the area for ascertaining the scope and type of fire fighting required was also used.
Aerial spraying of water by the Mi-17 V5 helicopters from AF Station Sulur using Bambi buckets to extinguish the fire was used. The Bambi bucket carried by the Mi-17 V5 helicopter can carry a maximum of 3,500 litres of water at a time and have the capacity to be replenished with water from any waterbody with a depth of just two metres.
"The focus of the helicopter operation by the Indian Air Force (IAF) was to prevent the spread of fire to contiguous areas before concentrating the effort on dousing it completely. The aerial fire fighting operation by the IAF was carried out in close coordination with the local authorities including the city police." a source told DC.
Collector K Rajamani and corporation commissioner, J Sravan Kumar coordinated the operations along with the Fire services department....