Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Chemical mixture at Buffalo Wild Wings kills employee, sends others to hospital

Courtesy John Guilfoil Media Courtesy John Guilfoil Media
Patty Aguilar | 08 November, 2019, 20:41

A Buffalo Wild Wings employee in Burlington, Massachusetts, died on Thursday after he was exposed to fumes from a floor cleaner, officials said. They told reporters of the confusion that followed.

Firefighters were called, and responders found the second employee suffering from nausea outside.

Ten other people at the restaurant - eight employees and two customers - checked themselves in to hospitals Thursday, with symptoms including breathing difficulties, watery and runny eyes, and shortness of breath, Patterson said.

The unidentified male employee was rushed to Lahey Hospital and later died, according to ABC's affiliate station in Boston WCVB.

"We were just sitting at the bar, and the smell of ammonia and chlorine came over us, and a bunch of people started coughing", customer Jim Jorefice told NBC News.

PHOTO: A chemical incident at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington, Mass, on November 7, 2019.

"Is everything OK? Should we even be breathing this air?"

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"This is a product that we have been told, that it's a common product used for floor cleaning, for some reason, tonight there was just a reaction that led to this", Patterson said.

Only two were said to be customers and the remainder were members of staff.

The building was evacuated at about 6 p.m. local time due to a Tier 1 hazmat incident, according to NBC Boston.

Although the compound remains in widespread use, it is among the most risky compounds as it rapidly releases chlorine and can mix easily with other chemicals to create toxic fumes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the incident, he said.

The restaurant will remain closed until the investigation is complete. Newsweek has contacted the department to provide an update.

A Buffalo Wild Wings spokesperson in a statement referred questions to local authorities, citing an ongoing investigation.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of this horrific accident at our franchise-owned sports bar and are working closely with our franchisee and the authorities while they conduct an investigation", Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement to the AP.

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