NEW ORLEANS

Government, BP mum about device, relief well

The Justice Department won’t say if the blowout preventer that failed to stop oil from gushing from BP’s undersea well into the Gulf of Mexico is on its way to shore.

Spokeswoman Hannah August declined comment Monday.

The 50-foot, 300-ton device, which was lifted to the surface Saturday, is expected to be analyzed at a NASA facility in Louisiana.

It is unclear, meanwhile, exactly when the final plugging of the well will take place.

Relief well drilling was supposed to resume after Labor Day. The government’s point man on the spill response said Saturday he wanted to wait before giving a firm updated time line. BP said recently it didn’t expect to finish the relief well until mid-September.

SAVANNAH, Ga.

Former soldier surrenders after brief hostage-taking

A former Army soldier seeking help for mental problems at a Georgia military hospital took three workers hostage at gunpoint Monday before authorities persuaded him to surrender.

No one was hurt and no shots were fired in the short standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart, about 40 miles south of Savannah, said fort spokesman Kevin Larson. Military officials said the hostages were able to calm the gunman and keep him away from patients until he surrendered.

Military police arrested the gunman. His name was not immediately released.