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Chemical Spill Cuts Water for up to 300,000 in West Virginia

Image: Crews clean up a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va.
Crews clean up a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., which compromised the public water supply of eight counties on Thursday. Tyler Evert / AP

A chemical spill into a West Virginia river has led to a tap water ban for up to 300,000 people, shut down bars and restaurants and led to a run on bottled water in some stores as people looked to stock up.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency Thursday because of the seepage into the Elk River.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources told WSAZ symptoms include: severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering.

It followed a notice from the company that the water supply had become contaminated.

Feds to Investigate W.V. Chemical Spill 2:51

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.