Galapagos crane incident

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A crane overturned into the water on San Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos Islands in the South Atlantic, while loading a generator on Sunday. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The crane, a P&H Omega Rough Terrain owned by Ecuador-based Equigruas, was loading a 40-foot CAT generator container onto a boat for transport to Isabela Island which is facing energy rationing, while a new hybrid solar/oil power plant comes on stream.

The crane had to have been overloaded as the load radius increased causing it to tip forward. The load struck the boat causing it to overturn while the crane went into the water after it. The two men on the boat jumped clear while the crane operator can be seen to exit the cab legs first as the crane went over. One man is reported to have been injured – almost certainly the operator – although thankfully the crane did not come down on top of him. The entire episode was captured on video. Check out the video below.

More than 2,500 litres of fuel and oil was spilled into the water, causing localised issues. The recovery has yet to take place.

Galapagos minister Norman Wray, said: “We have acted in an immediate way, staff from the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian Navy are using containment barriers, as well as hydrocarbon absorbing cloth around the vessel to prevent the scattering of any diesel.”