Area residents are being warned not to ingest bottles of cleaning fluid after two accidental poisonings occurred on Wednesday.
The green bottles of “Festival” all-purpose cleaner come in bottles which resemble 20-ounce sodas. Two Durant residents called 911 after drinking the cleaner.
Police and fire officials were looking into the source today, but one possibility is that the cleaner was given to clients of local food banks or church charities as part of food and hygiene packages.
Sue Stanfield, director of Victory Life Church Hands of Hope food bank in Durant, said her ministry was not handing out the product, but she had heard of some others who had received free bottles of cleaning fluid.
“Anytime we get something like that for free, we give it away to people,” she said. “I haven’t had this issue, but if I did, I would let people know what was going on.”
She said a Durant police officer visited the food bank today trying to track down the source of the accidental poisonings.
“I’m glad they brought our attention to it,” she said.
She urged family members with elderly relatives or illiterate members of their family to caution them against ingesting the cleaner.
Between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, two men called emergency medical services after drinking the fluid. A 60-year-old man on Lenore Street said he drank a “glass full of cleaner” and became ill. Twenty minutes later, a 56-year-old man on South 9th Avenue called for medical attention after he drank cleaner which was “mistaken for a drink,” according to dispatch logs.
One of the men was transported to medical facilities for treatment of non-life threatening injuries; the other refused transport after on-scene treatment by Bryan County EMS.