Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders expressed outrage on Sunday over the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, and demanded state and federal money begin to flow immediately to begin relief and rebuilding efforts.
At a debate held in Flint to highlight the city's public health crisis from contamination of its water supply, the two candidates condemned local officials who abetted the crisis and demanded the resignation of Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan.
"People should be held accountable, wherever that leads," Clinton said, adding an investigation should determine who in state and federal government was responsible. "There has to be absolute accountability."
"What is going on is a disgrace beyond belief," Sanders said, plugging his plan to spend $1 trillion to rebuild crumbling infrastructure across the United States.
The debate comes as Sanders struggles to slow Clinton's march to the nomination to face the Republican candidate in the Nov. 8 general election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama. Media organizations predicted that Sanders would win Sunday's Maine caucus.
The crisis in Flint, a predominantly black city of 100,000, was triggered when an emergency city manager installed by Snyder switched the city's water supply to the nearby Flint River from Lake Michigan to save money.
The change corroded Flint's aging pipes and released lead and other toxins into the water supply, exposing thousands of residents including children to high lead levels that have sparked serious health problems.