Tar balls from oil spill appearing on Dauphin Island - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Tar balls from oil spill appearing on Dauphin Island

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MOBILE BAY (WLBT) -  A coast guard official says tar balls from a massive oil leak have been washing up on Dauphin Island since about noon Saturday.

The Barrier Island is at the mouth of Mobile Bay and about three miles from the coast.

BP's Chief Operating Officer says attempts made Friday to use a containment box over the oil leak in the Gulf are not working. CEO Doug Suttles made the announcement in a press conference Saturday.

BP said ice crystals formed inside the box when it was placed over the massive oil leak. Suttles said the dome cap currently sits about 200 meters away from the leak source on the sea floor.

"I wouldn't say it's failed yet. What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn't work because those hydrates plugged up the top of the dome. What we're currently doing is expecting that it could take 48 hours to see is there a way to overcome this problem," Suttles said.

According to interviews with rig workers in BP's internal investigation, a bubble of methane gas triggered the April 20th blast that killed 11 workers. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the coast guard and the minerals management service plan to hold public hearings on the investigation.

Congressional committees also plan to hold hearings. NOAA said Friday the oil will make landfall in Mississippi on the Barrier Islands and our coastline by Sunday.

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