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West Virginia chemical spill triggers widespread tap water ban

A federal state of emergency on Friday in the U.S. state of West Virginia. A chemical leak at this plant in the capital Charleston on Thursday left some 300,000 people without safe tap water, closing school and businesses. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin warned residents their tap water for now was only safe for fire protection and flushing toilets. SOUNDBITE: GOVERNOR EARL RAY TOMBLIN SAYING: "Do not drink it, do cook with it, do not wash clothes with it, do not take a bath in it." The chemical is used to clean coal at the Freedom Industries plant, upriver from the state's largest water treatment pant. President Barack Obama ordered federal aid into the area. Officials say it may be days before residents can safely use their tap water again.

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