UPDATE: Suspected 'tar balls' found in Miss., being tested

By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Authorities are testing suspected “tar balls” found on Mississippi shores to see if they came from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dan Turner, a spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour, said “very sparsely scattered, small tar balls” were found in recent days on the beaches of West Ship Island, Horn Island, Pass Christian and Long Beach.

Turner said the substance may have came from controlled burns on the oil gushing from the site of an April 20 rig explosion.

A small piece of boom with an “oily substance” also was found on the Mississippi coast. Turner said authorities are trying determine where it came from and if it had oil on it from the spill.

Tar balls also have turned up in Alabama and Louisiana.