The contents of a large “oil drum” washed ashore at St Ives at the weekend will remain a mystery, after the disposal company which took it away incinerated it without investigating its contents.
The drum – and the efforts to remove it from Porthmeor beach - attracted a large crowd of onlookers on Saturday.
Firefighters wearing gas-tight chemical protection suits recovered the 90-litre cannister at low tide, in an operation lasting several hours. Firefighters said the precautions were routine – but necessary – when dealing with unknown substances which could be potentially dangerous.
This morning Cornwall Council released a short statement: “Following the discovery of the drum on Porthmeor beach over the weekend, officers from the Council’s Fire and Rescue and Community Safety service arranged for it to be collected by a specialist waste company for safe disposal . As the drum was intact and there was no spillage of its contents, it was removed and incinerated without the need for analysis of the substance.”