Foodservice Equipment Reports

Leaky CO2 Lines Turn Deadly

No criminal charges will be filed in a deadly case of leaky soda fountain lines at a McDonald’s in Georgia. On Sept. 7, carbon dioxide piped through gas lines leaked and sickened 10 people, including an 80-year-old woman who died after being found unconscious in a restroom.

Investigators in Pooler, Ga., about 10 miles from Savannah, said the leak pumped what is normally a harmless gas used for carbonating soda into the wall cavity, which seeped into the women's restroom. The high level of concentration displaced oxygen and caused asphyxiation.

"We worked closely with the authorities to determine the cause of this incident and we've taken action to correct the situation," the restaurant’s operators said in a statement. The police chief said the owners had replaced the soda fountain's gas lines and valves and were allowed to reopen the restaurant.

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating possible workplace safety violations