BURLINGTON (CBS) – A Buffalo Wild Wings worker died Thursday after he was exposed to a strong cleaning chemical in Burlington. Ten other people, both customers and workers, have been hospitalized as a result of the incident.
At about 5:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the restaurant on South Ave. across from the Burlington Mall 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 man’s name has not been made public.
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 high-concentrate 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 having problems breathing and watery eyes.
Firefighters say anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may be impacted should seek treatment immediately. There is no active threat to the public safety.
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.”
OSHA has been notified and the restaurant has been closed for the investigation.