About 600 gallons of oil spilled in the waters off the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador after a cargo vessel tipped over early Sunday.
Emergency teams are currently working to contain the spill on San Cristobal Island, an eastern island of the Galápagos.
According to the Ecuadorian Coast Guard, the spill occurred after a crane loading a large container onto a ship’s deck lost control, with the vessel falling onto the boat. In a video that captured the event, oil is seen gushing into the water while the crew jumps in after the ship begins to capsize. CNN reports that none of the sailors were injured.
The Galapagos is a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts a varied and scientifically important ecosystem that’s home to species that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. On San Cristobal Island, for instance, there are sea lions, giant tortoises and finches.
While the impact on these species is still uncertain, the spill has caused outrage and worry among environmental justice groups, which have long fought to protect the volcanic Pacific Ocean archipelago. SOS Galápagos, an advocacy group, shared photos of the spill and called the activity that led to the incident “illegal and dangerous.”
During the 19th century, Charles Darwin did research on the Galápagos Islands that was critical to his theory of evolution.