India is putting oxygen tankers on special express trains as hospitals run out of supplies for COVID-19 patients

India coronavirus
Empty tankers for carrying liquid oxygen being loaded at Kalamboli railway yard of the Central Railway in Mumbai. Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • India is transporting oxygen tankers on express trains to help treat coronavirus patients.
  • India is battling a devastating surge. Hospitals have critical shortages of oxygen to treat people.
  • Special ramps have reportedly been installed so the tankers can drive on and off the trains quickly.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

India is using express trains to transport oxygen tankers as hospitals deal with critical shortages to treat COVID-19 patients.

Indian Railways is calling the project “Oxygen Express” as it started running trains to bring oxygen to the states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

Northern India is dealing with a critical oxygen shortage that has left hospitals warning they had just hours of oxygen left, and that coronavirus patients would die when it runs out.

India is battling a devastating surge that’s breaking global records, overwhelming the health system, and leaving people dying outside of hospitals as they wait for treatment.

The tankers are being transported using a roll-on, roll-off service, which means special ramps have been installed so they can drive on and off the trains quickly, the Hindustan Times reported.

Piyush Goyal, India’s railways minister, tweeted that a “green corridor” had been created, which would mean the trains don’t meet any red lights and can move through the routes faster.

-Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 22, 2021

Delhi’s High Court on Wednesday criticized the government for how it was handling the oxygen shortage, and ordered that oxygen be diverted from other industries to treat coronavirus patients.