2 more C-17s land with Indians rescued from war-torn Yemen
Mumbai, April 4: The Indian Air Force (IAF) continued with its evacuation missions from war-torn Yemen with two C-17 Globemaster-IIIs landing at Mumbai airport late on Friday night.
Wing Commander Rochelle D'Silva, IAF spokesperson, confirmed to OneIndia that two C-17s carrying 155 and 179 Indian nationals respectively, evacuated from Yemen, landed at Mumbai late on Friday night.
The IAF has so far undertaken four missions to evacuate Indians from Yemen. Majority of these Indians have been rescued by INS Sumitra.
Meanwhile, a naval spokesperson giving out details INS Sumitra's second evacuation mission, said that during the ship's stay in Al Hodeidah, the crew reported hearing heaving shelling in the city.
"All necessary precautions were observed to cater for emerging situations that may arise due to the ongoing skirmish in the vicinity. INS Sumitra disembarked the evacuees at Djibouti on April 3 afternoon," he said.
On her second mission, INS Sumitra had entered Al Hodeidah on the west coast of Yemen late on Thursday (April 2) evening to evacuate the second batch of Indians fleeing the country.
During this trip the ship embarked 306 Indian nationals (251 men, 38 women, 17 children) and evacuated them.
"Considering that these people have gone through agony, faced threat to their lives and have been ousted from their homes, leaving all their belongings behind, instructions given to the ship by Headquarter Western Naval Command to ensure a comfortable stay for the evacuees during the passage," an official said.
INS Sumitra crew go all out for evacuees' comfort
Extensive arrangements have been made by the ship's crew, even at the cost of their own comfort, to ensure that all evacuees were well looked after.
"Crew living quarters were cleared to accommodate women, elderly persons and children. With the aim to evacuate, the maximum numbers of persons, male evacuees were accommodated on the upper deck, under the cover of shamianas," the official added.
The ship is said to have arranged for hot meals for all evacuees, though the ship's galley (kitchen) is designed to cater to only 100 persons, the normal strength of its crew.
"The cooks onboard the ship worked day and night to ensure that all evacuees were provided food three times, using the ships own rations," the official added.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, the IAF had on early Thursday morning touched down in Kochi (carrying 168 Indians) and Mumbai (carrying 190 Indians), completing its maiden mission.
A defence spokesperson had earlier termed the mission as ‘a well-coordinated HADR Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operation by the Indian Navy and the IAF.