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Tap water fix in West Virginia still days away, official says

Published on Jan 12, 2014 8:00 AM
 
Boats sit in the Elk River in front of the Freedom Industries plant in Charleston, West Virginia on Jan 11, 2014. Tap water in Charleston, West Virginia, and nearby communities will remain unsafe in the coming days, an official said on Saturday as residents spent a third day unable to bathe, shower or drink from the faucet due to a chemical spill tainting the Elk River. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA (REUTERS) - Tap water in Charleston, West Virginia, and nearby communities will remain unsafe in the coming days, an official said on Saturday as residents spent a third day unable to bathe, shower or drink from the faucet due to a chemical spill tainting the Elk River.

As much as 18,927 litres of industrial chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or Crude MCHM, leaked into the river on Thursday, state officials said.

The spill came from a tank belonging to Freedom Industries, a Charleston company that produces specialty chemicals for the mining, steel and cement industries, authorities said.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday declared a state of emergency for nine counties, with the affected area including the state capital of Charleston, the state's largest city.

 
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