Crews At WV Chemical Spill Site Sever Pipe

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A spokesman for a West Virginia environmental agency says cleanup crews at the site of a previous chemical spill severed an underground pipe, but none of the chemical that tainted the area's water supply earlier this month reached a nearby river this time.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says crews didn't know the pipe was there when it was struck Thursday night at the Freedom Industries site along the Elk River.

The crews were using an excavator to enlarge an existing trench. Aluise says the trench prevented any of the minor amount of leaking crude MCHM from being released into the river.

A Jan. 9 spill of 10,000 gallons of crude MCHM tainted the water supply of 300,000 residents in nine counties for days.