CO2 leak sparks evacuation at Phoenix McDonald's

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PHOENIX – A carbon dioxide leak forced the evacuation of a Phoenix McDonald’s Tuesday night.

Firefighters responded to the restaurant at 24th Street and Osborn Road as soon as the hazardous situation was reported between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Emergency crews said the fumes caused a pregnant employee to pass out in a stairwell. Her co-workers said she had been feeling lightheaded and dizzy, both of which can be indications of exposure to too much carbon dioxide. Several other workers reportedly had been experiencing symptoms.

The leak was coming from soda machines in the basement of the building.

Authorities said it was a dangerous situation and it’s lucky that nobody became seriously ill.

The pregnant woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Other employees were treated at the scene. Everybody is expected to be just fine.

Exposure to carbon dioxide, a colorless naturally occurring gas that is odorless at low concentrations, can cause a condition called hypercapnia, in which there is too much carbon dioxide in the blood.

All living things that have plants in their food chain emit carbon dioxide during respiration.

The carbonation – fizziness – in soda is created when carbon dioxide under pressure is added to the liquid.

While harmless at low concentrations, carbon dioxide becomes toxic at high concentrations.