Published time: January 17, 2014 20:53
Edited time: January 17, 2014 21:32
Freedom Industries on Barlow St on the banks of the Elk River is seen on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Freedom Industries on Barlow St on the banks of the Elk River is seen on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the methanol leak that contaminated the water supply in a West Virginia town, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a new report.

The company’s Board of Directors convened at a special meeting on Friday to file a voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection, according to WVNS-TV in West Virginia. Notes taken at the meeting obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicate that Freedom Industries estimates the company debt is currently at approximately $10 million, although the inevitable clean-up costs, lawsuits, and other fees incurred because of the spill will add to that burden.

Approximately 300,000 people throughout nine counties near Charleston, West Virginia have been under a “do not use” tap water order since January 9. The mandate was put in place because a coal-cleaning chemical, known as 4-methlycyclohexane methanol, seeped into the Elk River.

Known as 'buffalos', water tanks from Northern PA were arrive at a steady pace at West Virginia American Water on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Known as ‘buffalos’, water tanks from Northern PA were arrive at a steady pace at West Virginia American Water on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

The bankruptcy document claimed that some sort of object appeared to have pierced an already-leaking storage tank, releasing so much of the chemical into the river that some witnesses said they saw it pooling in ditches along roadsides.

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