Ankara: At least 40 people, including 23 children, were poisoned and hospitalised late on Monday after children opened an industrial drum containing unknown chemicals in Turkey's Siirt province.

According to media reports, the children brought a chemical drum found outside the village and opened it by accident. After opening the drum locals felt uncomfortable and showed signs of nausea. The patients were all immediately taken to Siirt State Hospital for treatment, the Siirt Province Governor office was quoted as saying.

After the accident, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) teams, health care teams and Turkish Red Crescent were dispatched to the scene. Other villagers were evacuated.