Three teenagers have been arrested after a gas canister was set off inside a branch of McDonald’s, leaving 12 people needing medical treatment and another two in hospital. Paramedics said staff and customers complained of breathing difficulties and stomach problems after the substance was released at the Stafford restaurant.
Two 17-year-old boys and an 18-year-old woman were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of administering a noxious substance at the outlet on Monday evening. A dozen people needed treatment at the scene after emergency services were called shortly after 8.30pm. Two teenagers were taken to a nearby hospital.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “An investigation into the incident is now under way and officers will continue inquiries at the scene today, including obtaining CCTV evidence, to establish the background to this incident.” The force added that the three arrested are all from the local area.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said those inside the restaurant at the time complained of breathing difficulties and stomach problems. A 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were taken to hospital in Stoke-on-Trent suffering from respiratory irritation and abdominal pains.
A spokeswoman for the ambulance service said: “Due to the number of patients affected and the type of incident, it was a protracted case which saw ambulance staff on scene for around four hours.” The restaurant has since reopened after Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service completed its investigation. A police spokesman said crews did not find any noxious substances in the building or surrounding area.