Buffalo Wild Wings worker dies after inhaling strong cleaning agent fumes

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (CBS News) — A Buffalo Wild Wings worker died after he was exposed to a strong cleaning agent in Burlington, reports CBS Boston. Ten other people – workers and customers – went to a hospital as a result of the incident.

At about 5:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the restaurant for a report of a chemical reaction in the kitchen area.

A male employee was suffering from nausea after breathing in fumes from a cleaning agent. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition and later died.

One employee prepared to clean the floor and had to run out of the restaurant for fresh air. A coworker stepped in.

“The gentleman that passed away was an employee of Buffalo Wild Wings, who attempted to squeegee the product out of the building when he was overcome,” Assistant Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson said.

The building was evacuated and a Tier 1 Hazmat response was called for.

Patterson said the worker was cleaning the floor with a product called Super 8, which contains sodium hypochlorite – a highly concentrated form of chlorine.

“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.

Ten other people, eight workers and two customers, drove themselves to the hospital because they were experiencing difficulty breathing, watery eyes and shortness of breath.

Firefighters said anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may have been impacted should seek treatment immediately. There was no active threat to the public safety, they said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Buffalo Wild Wings said, “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.”

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified and the restaurant was closed for the night so OSHSA crews could investigate. 

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