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Soda Gas is what caused the death at McDonalds

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 6:23 PM
  • 7 Replies

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Carbon dioxide from a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald's in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including an woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday.

Investigators determined a leaky gas line between the walls caused the gas to build up about a week ago to the point where people inside were unable to breathe.

"It caused what is normally a harmless gas to be pumped into the wall cavity and leak into the women's restroom," said Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew. "At a high level of concentration, it displaces oxygen."

Firefighters were called Sept. 7 to the restaurant in Pooler, about 10 miles west of Savannah, and two women were found unconscious in a restroom. They were later admitted to a Savannah hospital, where eight others from the restaurant were treated and released. Eighty-year-old Anne Felton of Ponte Vedra, Fla., died the next day.

Investigators initially suspected customers fell ill to noxious fumes from cleaning chemicals. An autopsy found no trace of chemicals in Felton, Revenew said, but it indicated she succumbed to asphyxiation.

McDonald's corporate headquarters and the restaurant's franchisees, John and Monique Palmaccio, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The police chief said the owners had replaced the soda fountain's gas lines and valves and were allowed to reopen the restaurant.

"At this point we don't anticipate criminal charges," Revenew said. "It just appears to be a mistake."

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is also investigating. OSHA investigators were conducting interviews last week, looking into possible workplace safety violations.

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 6:23 PM
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Replies (1-7):
Elyce225
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Eww I can only wonder how much of that actually goes into the soda, yuck!  And people give it to their children.

Also, "It caused what is normally a harmless gas ".  Obviously it's not harmless, lol. 

If I were these people who passed out and the woman's family who died I would sue the balls off of McDonalds.

atlmom2
by Susie on Sep. 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM

CO2 is in the air all the time. I guess too much in a confined area is not good.

LyTe684
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 6:57 PM


Quoting atlmom2:

CO2 is in the air all the time. I guess too much in a confined area is not good.

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Brandyh
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 7:07 PM
:(
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MIA0223
by Michelle on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:04 PM
So sad :(
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showfan
by on Sep. 15, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Carbon dioxide is what makes soda fizzy.  It's not dangerous except in high concentrations in the air, in a confined space, because it replaces the oxygen (much like carbon monoxide). The lady who died probably had a low oxygen reserve to begin with - chronic lung disease or something.  It's a tragic accident, but not criminal negligence.  It would only be negligence if McDonalds knew about the leak and didn't do anything about it.  

jerzeetomato
by on Sep. 15, 2011 at 9:34 AM

 What a terrible, awful tragedy.  Very sad.

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