Texas cleaning up oil blobs on South Padre Island

Gooey oil blobs as big as basketballs have been washing up on the sandy beaches of South Padre Island in Texas, officials said Thursday.

The Texas General Land Office said it doesn’t know what is causing the tar-like blobs, but authorities were working to clean up the popular tourist destination. Beaches have not been closed.

Crews “scooped out a bunch of tar balls on the beach,” agency spokesman Jim Suydam told The Associated Press. “We’re doing analysis of the currents to track it back to the source as well as collecting some of the tar balls for chemical analysis to see where it came from.”

At least seven 55-gallon drums of oil have been removed since Wednesday morning after tourists began calling in reports of seeing blobs of oil on the beach, Suydam said.

“We don’t know the source. We suspect it’s coming from south of the border,” he said. Texas authorities are in the process of contacting Mexican officials for help pinpointing the contamination, he said.

The spill was first…

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