1 Dead, 10 Hospitalized After Chemical Incident at Massachusetts Buffalo Wild Wings
A Buffalo Wild Wings employee in Burlington, Massachusetts, died on Thursday after he was exposed to fumes from a floor cleaner, officials said.
Emergency responders arrived at the restaurant on Thursday evening just after 5:30 p.m. after receiving a report of a “sick individual and a potential chemical release,” interim Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson told reporters.
In a press release, Patterson explained that responders found a man being treated by paramedics outside of the Buffalo Wild Wings. The unidentified individual, who was an employee of the restaurant, was “suffering from nausea.” He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
According to Patterson, the employee had been exposed to “a strong cleaning agent” while cleaning the floor of the restaurant. He told reporters that the cleaning product is called “Super 8” and contains sodium hypochlorite, which is a “high concentrate” of chlorine.
“This is a product that, we’ve 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.
At least ten other individuals also became sick once the product was released, the press release said. The ten victims all self-checked themselves into local hospitals, and Patterson said their symptoms included “difficulty in breathing, runny and watery eyes, and shortness of breath.”
The Fire Chief said the victims included two customers, and the rest were Buffalo Wild Wings employees.
The chemical incident is still under investigation by the Burlington Police and Fire Departments, the press release said. Authorities also urged anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may have been impacted to seek medical treatment.
A Buffalo Wild Wings spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement: “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.”
“Because the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to share any additional comment at this time,” the statement continued. “Any further questions will need to be referred to the local authorities.”