A cordon had to be put in place along the seafront after a cylinder started to leak gas after washing up on the beach.

Southend Coastguard had been called out to East Beach in Shoebury around 9am today (Wednesday, July 21) after the rusty cylinder had been spotted by members of the public.

The team attempted to move the 25kg object amid concerns about the hot temperatures making it explode or the potential for it to be washed back into the sea by the tide.

But they had to abandon their plans to move it to Pier and Foreshore after it began hissing and leaking gas due to a faulty valve. 

A 50 metre cordon was put in place to keep the public away and the fire service was called to make the cylinder safe.

After checking its temperature, firefighters were able to safely remove the cylinder after it had stopped leaking gas.

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A coastguard spokesman said: “We would like to thank the first informant for reporting the object and members of the public for their patience whilst the object was dealt with.

“Cordons, of various sizes, are necessary to gain control of an area and for the safety of the public.”

A spokesman from the fire service, added: "We were called to Chapel Road, Shoebury to reports of cylinders leaking potentially hazardous material today at 10.42am. 

"We sent two crews from Southend to inspect the cylinders but no further action was required. They left the scene at 11.33am."