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Buffalo Wild Wings Worker Dies After Chemical Incident Buffalo Wild Wings Manager Dies After Chemical Incident
(about 4 hours later)
One Buffalo Wild Wings employee died and 10 workers and patrons were sickened after being exposed to a cleaning agent at a Massachusetts location on Thursday evening, the authorities said. A Buffalo Wild Wings manager died and 10 workers and patrons were sickened after being exposed to a cleaning agent at a Massachusetts location on Thursday evening, the authorities said.
The fire department in Burlington, about 12 miles northwest of Boston, responded to calls at the restaurant and found a man outside being treated by paramedics, Assistant Fire Chief Michael Patterson said at a news conference on Thursday. The Fire Department in Burlington, about 12 miles northwest of Boston, responded to calls at the restaurant and found a man outside being treated by paramedics, Assistant Fire Chief Michael Patterson said at a news conference on Thursday.
“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,” the chief said.“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,” the chief said.
The man, who has not been identified, died after being taken to a hospital, Chief Patterson said. An exact cause of death was not given. The episode occurred after an employee prepared to clean the kitchen floor and was exposed to a chemical known as Super 8, Chief Patterson said. That person, who the authorities said was not the manager who died, exited the restaurant to get fresh air.
“What we believed happened was a worker at Buffalo Wild Wings used a cleaning agent on the floor,” Chief Patterson said. “The cleaning agent is called Super 8.”
Super 8 is a low-temperature sodium hypochlorite solution registered with the Environmental Protection Agency that is used as a sanitizer in the food processing and food service industry, according to Auto-Chlor System, a company that provides cleaning products and services to commercial kitchens and laundry and housekeeping operations.Super 8 is a low-temperature sodium hypochlorite solution registered with the Environmental Protection Agency that is used as a sanitizer in the food processing and food service industry, according to Auto-Chlor System, a company that provides cleaning products and services to commercial kitchens and laundry and housekeeping operations.
After the product was released at the restaurant, 10 other people, including two patrons, “became sick” with symptoms of difficulty breathing and runny, watery eyes, Chief Patterson said, adding that the additional victims had transported themselves to a hospital. State workers who specialize in dealing with hazardous materials were called to the scene, the chief said. An investigation was continuing.
The Burlington Fire Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday morning about the victims’ conditions.
The incident occurred when an employee prepared to clean the kitchen floor and was exposed to the chemical, Chief Patterson said. That person, who the authorities say was not the worker who died, exited the area to receive fresh air.
State workers who specialize in dealing with hazardous materials were called to the scene, the chief said. An investigation into the incident is continuing.
The restaurant will eventually be turned over to its management, which will have to remove any residual cleaning agent, but “most of the product, I will say, is evaporated,” Chief 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,” a spokeswoman for Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement on Friday.“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,” a spokeswoman for Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement on Friday.
The restaurant chain did not respond to questions about whether it planned to review its cleaning products and procedures. The man who died, Ryan Baldera, 32, was the restaurant’s manager, said Paul Sagarino Jr., the town administrator of Burlington. A cause of death was not available on Friday.
This week, the chain announced that it had fired two managers at a location in Illinois after a patron said the managers had asked for a group that included black diners to move because another customer in the restaurant was racist. The other 10 people who were sickened and sought treatment at a hospital on Thursday night were released by Friday morning, the authorities said. They included two restaurant patrons.
Ron Robert, a sports radio host who knew Mr. Baldera from working in the restaurant business, said Mr. Baldera had recently become a father.
“One of the nicest guys you could ever meet,” Mr. Robert said. “What a horrible situation.”
Mr. Robert said it would have been in Mr. Baldera’s nature to stay behind and make sure the restaurant had been evacuated. “Ryan did the right thing, except he didn’t get out,” he said.
Further details about the restaurant’s evacuation were not immediately available. The restaurant chain did not respond to questions about whether it planned to review its cleaning products and procedures.
Mr. Baldera grew up in Methuen, Mass., about 20 miles north of Burlington and was the captain of the track team at Methuen High School, Roger Fuller, who was the coach at the time, said on Friday.
He said he persuaded Mr. Baldera to run the first leg of the 800-meter relay, in addition to Mr. Baldera’s specialty, which was the hurdles. Mr. Baldera also played football.
“He was a great captain,” Mr. Fuller said, adding, “He was no doubt a leader from day one.”