September 8, 2011 / 6:10 PM / in 6 years

One dead, 9 sick from fumes at McDonald's in Georgia

ATLANTA (Reuters) - One woman died and nine others were sickened after breathing toxic fumes in the bathroom of a McDonald’s restaurant in south Georgia, authorities said on Thursday.

An 80-year-old woman from Florida died early on Thursday, hours after being overcome by fumes in the bathroom at a McDonald’s restaurant in Pooler, Georgia, the city’s Police Chief Mark Revenew said.

She was one of two women emergency workers found unconscious in the bathroom of the restaurant on Wednesday afternoon, Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons said.

A total of 10 people, including three firefighters, went to the hospital after being sickened by the fumes in the bathroom, Simmons said.

Firefighters noticed a smell in the bathroom but were not able to identify the source, Simmons said.

“We continue to work with the local authorities to collect more information about what may have happened,” John and Monique Palamccio, the McDonald’s franchisees who own the restaurant, said in a statement.

“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,” they said.

The city of Pooler is near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein, Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune

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