NSW Fire and Rescue crews dressed in hazmat suits were called to a Newcastle beach after a large metal object believed to contain hazardous materials washed ashore.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attended the scene at Shortland Esplanade just after midday on Sunday after the container was spotted on the beach.
The drum was initially thought to contain hydrochloric acid due to the markings on the container, with crews immediately closing the beach and setting up a 200-metre exclusion zone, the Newcastle Herald reported.
Hazmat crews worked to siphon the contents of the container into three large orange drums while Newcastle Council cautioned the public to stay away from the area. It's since been revealed the container was filled with oil.
"City of Newcastle is supporting emergency services responding to an incident relating to potentially dangerous debris washing up on Newcastle Beach. The immediate area is being cleared and secured. Please avoid Newcastle Beach until otherwise advised," the Council warned locals.
While the origin of the drum remains unknown, the area has since been made safe and was reopened to the public at about 3:30pm.
A NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman confirmed the container was intact and believed no oil had escaped from the drum.
On Friday, a large water tank, believed to be debris from the NSW floods, washed up on Coogee Beach
NSW Maritime and Marine Rescue appealed to boat owners to stay off the water this weekend due to the hazards in the water.
“There will be huge amounts of debris in the water, both floating and submerged, such as large trees and dead animals, caravans and garden sheds,” Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell said.
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