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Company files for bankruptcy after W.Va. spill

January 17, 2014 • Business


FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, workers,left, inspect an area outside a retaining wall around storage tanks where a chemical leaked into the Elk River at Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston, W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says inspectors found five violations Monday at a Nitro, W.Va., site where Freedom Industries moved its coal-cleaning chemicals after last Thursday’s spill. Inspectors found that, like the Charleston facility where the leak originated, the Nitro site lacked appropriate secondary containment. In Charleston, a porous containment wall allowed the chemical to ooze into the Elk River. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The company blamed for a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without safe drinking water filed for bankruptcy Friday, temporarily shielding it from dozens of lawsuits, many by businesses that were forced to shut down for days.

Freedom Industries Inc. also used its bankruptcy papers as a forum to hypothesize about what caused the spill.

The company filed a Chapter 11 petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of West Virginia, eight days after the spill was discovered.

Company president Gary Southern signed the paperwork, which lists both the company’s assets and liabilities as being between $1 million and $10 million. It says the company Login to read more

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