(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The woman who was hospitalized in extremely critical condition after drinking iced tea laced with lye in suburban Salt Lake City is showing signs of improvement. Jan Harding, who suffered severe throat burns, has reportedly whispered to her family and has gotten out of her hospital bed. Police believe Harding drank a tea that had been mixed with the industrial cleaning solution lye.
Harding, who has ulcerated burns in her upper esophagus, hasn't been able to speak for days-- but now her breathing tube has been removed and she seems to be improving.
Lye is an extremely harsh chemical and is an ingredient in a cleaning product meant for de-greasing deep fryers. Investigators think it was mistakenly mixed into a bag of sugar, which a worker at Dickey's Barbeque unknowingly added to the ice tea dispenser.
Harding, they think, was the only customer burned.
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