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Woman who drank lye-laced tea in critical condition, lawyer says

An attorney for a 67-year-old woman who drank sweet tea laced with an industrial cleaning chemical at a Utah restaurant says she is in critical condition.

Lawyer Paxton Guymon says Jan Harding cannot talk and has not improved since arriving to a Salt Lake City hospital's burn unit Sunday.

Guymon says Harding and her husband had just walked into Dickey's Barbecue Pit in South Jordan when she took a sip of tea served there and told him she thought she drank acid.  He rushed her to a hospital with severe mouth and throat burns.

Guymon says authorities tested the tea and determined it contained lye. South Jordan Police Cpl. Sam Winkler says the chemical's presence appeared to be accidental.

The owner of the Dickey's Barbecue franchise says he's praying for Harding and cooperating with investigating authorities.

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