National

Jun 3, 2010 10:08 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Spilled oil aiming at Florida panhandle

The fight to save the white sand is on in the Florida Panhandle, famous for beaches looking like they're covered with sugar. A slick from the nation's worst oil spill is pushing perilously close and crews on the mainland are doing what they can to limit the catastrophe.

Emergency workers are rushing to link the last in a miles-long chain of booms designed to fend off the oil.

Elsewhere, the government's point man for the spill, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, has directed BP to pay for five additional sand barrier projects in Louisiana. Boats and four helicopters have also been dispatched to help skimmers spot oil threatening Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida coast.

Meanwhile, a published report quotes BP CEO Tony Hayward as saying it's "entirely fair" to criticize the company's preparations. The Financial Times quotes Howard saying it's "undoubtedly true" that BP "did not have the tools you would want in your tool kit."

BP continues its cut and cap attempt using giant shears to finish slicing off a broken pipe 5,000 feet down after a saw got stuck about halfway through.

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