A barge holding more than 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank in the Galapagos Islands on Sunday, threatening an already fragile ecosystem.
The oil spill happened off San Cristobal Island, prompting authorities in Ecuador to declare an emergency.
Video from the incident shows a crane collapsing while trying to load a container onto the barge. The crane falls onto the ship, forcing crew members to jump into the sea. The boat tips onto its side and eventually capsizes.
While it’s not clear how much of the diesel leaked from the boat, photos posted by environmental authorities in Ecuador show crews working to contain a spill.
Lenin Moreno, president of Ecuador, said on Twitter that the spill is “under control.” Containment barriers and absorbent cloths have been set up around the site of the incident to “reduce the environmental risk,” according to Galapagos National Park.
San Cristobal Island is in the eastern portion of the islands that make up the Galapagos. The islands are a designated World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is considered one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world but also one of the most at risk due to increased tourism, demographic growth, illegal fishing and management issues.
It is home to a “melting pot” of marine species, with everything from giant tortoises to sea lions to mockingbirds and finches.
An investigation has been ordered into the episode, according to the New York Times.
None of the crew members were hurt.
- Mother of 4 fatally shot through door after ‘feud’ with neighbor in Fla.: police
- ‘State of emergency’ in U.S. threatening LGBTQ2+ people: Human Rights Campaign
- Judge blocks parts of Florida ban on transgender minor care: ‘Gender identity is real’
- French protesters prepare last-ditch bid to stop pension overhaul