WVU Students React to Chemical Spill and Collect Items for Victi - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WVU Students React to Chemical Spill and Collect Items for Victims

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Roughly half of WVU students are from the Mountain State and for many the chemical spill in Charleston truly hit home.

Students were back from break less than 48 hours when news of the disaster broke, sending many rushing for their cell phones.

"First thing I called my parents immediately," said senior John Pentol from Charleston. "I said 'hey are you ok?' and they said they were. My dad was at work and they're ok, but their going through some tough times right now."

Hundreds of thousands of people were left without water, several hospitalized and students 125 miles away are still feeling helpless and concerned.

"It's rough for me because it's hard for them, they can't even take showers right now, and they don't have a lot of water to drink," Pentol added. "I invited my family to come up here and stay with me for a few days. And it's just hard for them right now and I know a lot of people are going through tough times."

"My three bothers and sisters are all really little, none of them have been sick so far so it seems like everyone is fine on that front which is nice, said Timothy Saar, a senior from Charleston. "My family is with family in North Carolina, they just immediately got out. That how bad the panic was."

Monday students reacted with a supply drive, collecting more than 41 cases of water, 76 rolls of paper towels and hundreds of baby wipes. The Student Governments said it was amazed by the response.

"With less than 4-hours of planning the entire campus came out and really helped support the cause," said president Ryan Campione. "We had two collection points one here in the Mountainlair and one in the rec center. Both sites were overwhelmed with donations by the end of the day."

Students know sending supplies helps, but really only wants one thing.

"I want the problem to be solved," said Pentol. "I want my family to be safe and all families to be safe. I know nobody did this on purpose, but it's a terrible thing going on right now."