A drum containing acid has forced the evacuation of a beach north of Sydney when the mysterious container washed ashore.

Crews from Fire and Rescue NSW were called to Shortland Esplanade, in Newcastle, yesterday afternoon shortly after the container was spotted on the sand.

A label on the barrel led authorities to believe them to contain Hydrochloric Acid (HCl).

A large container with Hydrochloric Acid has washed up on a Newcastle beach forcing the evacuation of those nearby, on Sunday March 28. (Fire and Rescue NSW)

As a precautionary measure, crews closed the area just after midday while hazardous materials crews could work to safely contain and remove the contents into several drums.

A photo was shared showing crews dressed in full protective gear working to make the beach safe.

The origin of the container remains a mystery.

Following the delicate operation the beach was declared safe and reopened to the public just after 3.30pm.

This content first appear on 9news

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