Four people have been admitted to a Charleston hospital after a chemical leaked into a West Virginia’s public water treatment system Thursday, state authorities said Saturday.
The conditions of the hospitalized West Virginia residents’ are not yet known, reports the Associated Press, but approximately 32 people have sought treatment at area hospitals for nausea and vomiting.
Up to 5,000 gallons of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol was leaked from the Freedom Industries plant into Elk River, forcing businesses, restaurants and schools to close. The water system needs to be flushed until the concentration of tainted water is low enough before it can be treated, which could take days, officials said.
Until then, roughly 300,000 people in nine counties are without tap water for drinking, bathing, or washing. Some area stores had run out of bottled water, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other companies were replenishing the bottled water supply Saturday.
A company president apologized to West Virginia residents for a chemical leak that got into a public water treatment system, and a state agency ordered Freedom Industries to remove its remaining chemicals from the site.