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Buffalo Wild Wings Manager Dies After Chemical Incident Buffalo Wild Wings Manager Dies After Chemical Incident
(about 1 hour later)
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. A Buffalo Wild Wings general manager died and 13 workers and patrons were sickened after being exposed to a toxic mixture of cleaning agents 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 episode occurred after a restaurant employee mixed an acidic detergent called Scale Kleen with a bleach-like cleaner sold as Super 8 to clean the kitchen floor, causing a chemical reaction, the authorities said.
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. That person, who the authorities said was not the manager who died, exited the restaurant to get fresh air.
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 used as a sanitizer in the food processing and food service industry, according to Auto-Chlor System, the company that makes the solvent, as well as Scale Kleen.
A product information sheet for Super 8 states that it is not compatible with strong acids.
Joseph Pawlak, chief operating officer of Auto-Chlor System, said in a statement on Friday that the company was cooperating with investigators and trying to determine how the accident happened.
“First and foremost, our condolences are with the individual and their family as well as those affected yesterday during the incident,” Mr. Pawlak said. “The safety and well-being of our customers are our first priority, always.”
State workers who specialize in dealing with hazardous materials were called to the scene, the chief said. An investigation was continuing.State workers who specialize in dealing with hazardous materials were called to the scene, the chief said. An investigation was continuing.
“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 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. The man who died, Ryan Baldera, 32, was the restaurant’s general manager, said Paul Sagarino Jr., the town administrator of Burlington. A cause of death was not available on Friday, though the authorities said that Mr. Baldera, a Lawrence, Mass., resident, became ill after inhaling the fumes from the mixture.
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. The other 13 people who sought hospital treatment for difficulty breathing and burning of the eyes on Thursday night were released by Friday morning, the authorities said.
Ron Robert, a sports radio host who knew Mr. Baldera from working in the restaurant business, said Mr. Baldera had recently become a father.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.”“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.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.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.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 said he had convinced 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.”“He was a great captain,” Mr. Fuller said, adding, “He was no doubt a leader from day one.”