A Buffalo Wild Wings worker died after exposure to a cleaning agent. 10 other people went to hospitals

(CNN) — A Buffalo Wild Wings employee died — and 10 other people were sent to hospitals — after they were exposed to a cleaning agent used on the kitchen floor of one of the chain’s Boston-area restaurants Thursday evening, fire officials said.

The worker who died apparently was trying to squeegee the sanitizer off the floor after a coworker who started using it was overcome by fumes, Burlington interim Fire Chief Michael Patterson told reporters.

The incident at the restaurant in Burlington began around 5:30 p.m., with workers and customers — some coughing — streaming out of the facility as fumes spread, witnesses told CNN affiliate WCVB.

A worker, intending to clean the kitchen floor, put a sanitizer called “Super 8” — a product with sodium hypochlorite, which itself is a main component of bleach — on the floor, Patterson said. That person quickly was sickened, apparently by fumes, and went outside, he explained.

A second worker “attempted to squeegee the product out of the building when he was overcome,” Patterson said.

Firefighters were called, and responders found the second employee suffering from nausea outside. An ambulance took that man to a hospital, where he died, Patterson said.

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.

They were being treated with oxygen, and none of them was believed to be in serious condition, according to Patterson.

The restaurant was closed for the night. Police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate, Patterson said.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of this tragic 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. “Because the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to share any additional comment at this time. Any further questions will need to be referred to the local authorities.”

A manufacturer of Super 8 describes the product as a sanitizer designed for dishwashing by machine or by hand.

Patterson said he was told that Super 8 is a “common product used in floor cleaning.”

“For some reason tonight, there was just a reaction that led to this,” he said.

‘It smelled horrible’

Customers told CNN affiliate WHDH that they could smell a strong chemical odor, and people closest to the kitchen began coughing and moving outside.

“Imagine, like, you’re in the pool, but add bleach to that. It smelled horrible,” Michael Burnstein told WHDH.

“I think one of the things that went through my mind is, we’re sitting there, like, ‘What are we supposed to do? Is everything OK? Should we even be breathing this air?'”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

1 Comment

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.