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 5,000 gallons (18,927 liters) 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. President Barack Obama has issued an emergency declaration.