Substance identified in McDonald's hazmat incident - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Substance identified in McDonald's hazmat incident

POOLER, GA (WTOC) - An improperly connected carbon dioxide line in the wall that connects to the soda machine was the cause of the hazmat incident last Wednesday at a McDonald's in Pooler, according to Pooler police at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

View photos from Sept. 7 incident

Anne Felton, of Ponte Verda, Fla., who was in the bathroom at the time of the incident died Thursday.

Carol Barry, 56, of Jacksonville, Fla., had been in critical condition, according to Pooler police. She has since been released from the hospital. Nine people were taken to the hospital and everyone had to be decontaminated, including three Pooler firefighters.

Chief Mark Revenue said they were able to figure this out after talking with authorities from Phoeniz, Ariz., who had a similar incident with CO2 there.

Tests had been conducted all week to determine what had made people sick on Sept. 7. They reviewed video to find out when the bathrooms had been cleaned. Authorities said they had made the determination Tuesday night that CO2 was the cause. McDonald's repaired the leak on Tuesday night.

McDonald's reopened on Wednesday morning.

Check for updates on this developing story.

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Statement from John and Monique Palmaccio, McDonald's Franchisees:

As the owners of this restaurant, we are deeply saddened by this tragedy.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Felton family, and all those who have been impacted.

We are committed to running safe, welcoming restaurants.  We worked closely with the authorities to determine the cause of this incident and we've taken action to correct the situation.  Authorities have conducted a thorough investigation, and determined that the restaurant is safe.

We are now open for our customers.

Once again, we join our community in extending our condolences to all those affected.

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