Suspected tarballs wash ashore near Pensacola

By: AP
By: AP

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Testing is under way on about 100 suspected tarballs found on a Pensacola-area beach.

If the material found Wednesday is sourced to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, it would be the first proof the disaster has hit Florida shores.

An Escambia County official says more than 1,000 suspected tarballs in Florida have been tested, and none are from the oil rig explosion. They turned out to be pieces of asphalt from hurricane-battered roads, pieces of charcoal, oil from ships or crude spilled during Hurricane Katrina.

Suspected oil washes up in Florida hundreds of times a year, but the incidents are being closely watched now for fear the disaster will scare away tourists.

Results on the Pensacola material aren't expected for about a week.


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