Crews are assessing the volume of a fuel spill after a tugboat capsized in the Fraser River between Vancouver and Richmond late Monday night.
The George H. Ledcor tug boat carries as much as 22,000 litres of diesel fuel.
Dan Bate of the Canadian Coast Guard says it is unknown what caused the vessel to sink near Deering Island, just east of Vancouver International Airport.
The City of Vancouver Twitter account said the vessel has “a large tank onboard and there’s a potential for a significant amount of fuel to have been released.”
A tug overturned and sank off Deering Island in the Fraser River. It has a large tank onboard and there’s a potential for a significant amount of fuel to have been released. COV environmental and Coast Guard currently assessing. #fraserriver #COVemergresponse
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) August 14, 2018
Four people were aboard the vessel and were all rescued by another tugboat.
Containment booms and absorbent pads have been laid to contain the fuel spill and Bate says it is too early to know what the ecosystem impact will be.
The vessel was towing a barge when it overturned around 11 p.m. Monday.
The 20-metre tug and the barge have been secured at Sea Island.
With files from CBC and the Canadian Press.