West Virginia Chemical Spill Threatens Health of Residents

Numerous people have reported symptoms of illness, as officials issue warning on tap water.
3:00 | 01/11/14

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Transcript for West Virginia Chemical Spill Threatens Health of Residents
More coming up. Significant new developments in a chemical spill that forced 300,000 people to stop drinking water out of the taps in their hoes. Over night we learned that more than 700 people have reported symptoms of illness and 70 have gone to the hospital. Abc's susan sulny is on the scene in west virginia. Susan. Reporter: Good morning, dan. A federal investigation is now under way into the chemical spill into the water here which has put life on hold for so many people. This morning, thousands in west virginia feeling the effects of the spill. More than 700 people in the charleston area have called poison control centers complaining of nausea, vomiting, headaches and rashes. 70 people went to local hospitals. For the 300,000 area residents it's been a frustrating day and a half. Overnight fema trucks bringing about a million gallons of clean water for people to direct, bathe, cook and clean. I just really am upset because we're trying to find water so we can take a shower have something to drink. Reporter: The crisis began when a toxic chemical used to process coal leaked out of a 48,000 gallon storage tank and overflowed into the elk water north of a water treatment plant that provides drinking water for the treatment. Do not drink it, do not cook with it, do not wash clothes in it. Do not take a bath in it. Reporter: The advisory set off a run in stores emptying shelves across the region. Some still concerned using the water before the warning. Brushed my teeth and washed my face with it so s ththat's kind of scaring me. This incident is extremely unfortunate and unanticipated and we are very, very sorry for the disruptions to everybody's daily life that it's caused. Reporter: While the tainted water is not considered deadly some have had stronger sympts or reactions to it than others. Residents are still advised to stay away from the water and there's no word yet on when it will be safe for drinking. Bianna. Susan, our thanks to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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