Officials: ‘Don’t drink the water,’ chemical spill makes drinking water dangerous

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CHARLESTON, W.V. (CNN) – Authorities in West Virginia are telling residents to avoid the water coming out of the faucets in their homes.

A chemical spill in the Elk River has officials telling residents to not drink the tap water, to not take a shower and to not brush their teeth with it.

A chemical called Methylcyclohexane Methanol, which is used in coal, has polluted the region’s drinking water.

At this time, officials say about 200,000 people are being affected.

The federal government has declared a state of emergency in the area and officials say the water should only be used for fighting fires and flushing toilets.

Many schools and restaurants were forced to close, while stores have sold out of bottled water.

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