U.S. Markets close in 6 hrs 6 mins

Buffalo Wild Wings worker dies after inhaling cleaning agent fumes

CBSNews

Burlington, Massachusetts — A Buffalo Wild Wings worker died Thursday after he was exposed to a strong cleaning agent in Burlington, CBS Boston reports. Ten other people – workers and customers – went to a hospital as a result of the incident.

At about 5:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the restaurant after 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. 

A preliminary investigation showed the trouble began when an employee applied two substances, Super 8 and Scale Kleen, to the kitchen floor while attempting to clean it, the Burlington Fire Department said Friday. The substances reacted with one another, creating toxic fumes. 

Ryan Baldera, a 32-year-old employee, was transported by ambulance to Lahey Hospital where he passed away as a result of his injuries, the statement said. Baldera was the restaurant's general manager, and was not the employee who mixed the substances. 

"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 Thursday. 

The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce has set up a memorial fund for his family, according to the statement on Friday. 

Thirteen people checked themselves into nearby hospitals after the incident. The patients included restaurant employees and patrons, and their symptoms included difficulty breathing and burning feelings in their eyes, the statement said. All of the patients have been released from the hospital.

Firefighters said anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may have been impacted should seek treatment immediately. There was no active threat to the public safety, they said.

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."

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified, and the restaurant was closed for the night so crews could investigate.