NEW DELHI, April 26 (IANS): Another Indian Air Force plane brought 237 Indians back to New Delhi from Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon, taking to 783 the total of passengers evacuated from the quake-hit Nepal since the first plane landed late Saturday night.
"A C-17 Globemaster III of Indian Aor Force landed at Palam at 04.45 p.m. from Kathmandu with 237 passengers on board," said defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar. Prior to that, 546 Indians wereflown back home.
The first IAF plane to arrive here from the Nepalese capital was a C-130J Super Hercules with 55 passengers, including four infants, on board around 10.45 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a C-17 Globemaster III, a little after midnight with 101 passengers and an infant.
In the early hours of Sunday, an IL-76 aircraft brought back 152 passengers, and around 4.45 a.m., another C-17 Globemaster III returned with 247 Indians. The movement had to be suspended between 1:30 pm and 3:00 p.m. due to fresh tremors in Nepal.
At 4:45 p.m., the latest plane landed with 237 Indian civilians.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the IAF will bring back a total of 1,500 Indians stranded in earthquake-hit Nepal.
"We brought back around 500 people yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday). We will evacuate 1,500 Indians from Nepal," Parrikar told reporters on the margins of a defence investiture ceremony here.
Over 2,130 people were killed and thousands were injured when a devastating earthquake and several strong aftershocks caused widespread destruction in Nepal. India was also affected.
The quake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was Nepal's Lamjung district, some 75 km northwest of capital Kathmandu. Over 50 aftershocks were also felt.