U.S. News

Helicopters to drop sandbags for oil protection

JOHN CURRAN|Associated Press Writer

A sandbag airlift is under way in Louisiana.

Blackhawk helicopters are picking up sandbags to fly them to be dropped on five points east of Port Fourchon. The project is aimed at protecting Lafourche Parish marshes from the massive oil slick.

The spill began creeping farther west of the Mississippi River last week.

Workers in a waterfront yard on Sunday packed sand into bags.

About a dozen Louisiana National Guard soldiers put straps on one-ton sandbags to ready them for pickup.

About 300 sandbags are expected to be used as a makeshift boom to protect the coast.

At least 3.5 million gallons were believed to have leaked since an April 20 drilling rig blast killed 11. BP operated the rig that was owned by Transocean Ltd.