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Toxic fumes at Ga. McDonald's kill woman

Toxic fumes at Ga. McDonald's kill woman
bg/Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

POOLER, Ga., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Investigators are blaming toxic fumes in the bathroom at a Pooler, Ga., McDonald's for the death of an 80-year-old woman.

Anne Felton, of Ponte Vedra, Fla., died in a hospital Thursday, a day after inhaling the fumes, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News reported.

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Police awaited the results of an autopsy to find out what the woman inhaled, Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons said.

On Wednesday, Felton and another woman, Carol Barry, 56, of Jacksonville, Fla., were discovered unconscious inside the restaurant bathroom. A woman and her two sons tried to help them, ended up sick themselves and were later hospitalized. Three firefighters who ultimately pulled the women out of the bathroom also were hospitalized.

A McDonald's employee was also hospitalized after breathing in fumes.

Pooler firefighters and a Savannah hazardous materials crew decontaminated the bathroom and 14 other employees and patrons.

The restaurant's manager told police people started getting sick hours after the bathroom was last cleaned. Hazmat teams were unable to detect anything toxic in the air, Simmons said.

"There wasn't anything left to test" [after people were evacuated], Simmons said. "They couldn't find anything left in the air."

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Barry remained hospitalized, Simmons said, but all others had been released.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the cause of the contamination that will focus on employees of the restaurant, OSHA spokesman Michael Wald said.

A statement released by McDonald's on behalf of the franchise owners, John and Monique Palmaccio, said: "The safety of our customers and employees has and will continue to be our number one concern. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families who have been impacted."

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