Authorities are still investigating how a routine cleaning procedure at a Buffalo Wild Wings outside Boston led to the the death of the restaurant's manager and the hospitalization of at least 13 other people.
Emergency crews responded around 5:30 p.m.to the Buffalo Wild Wings in the town of Burlington, located about 16 miles outside of Boston, after receiving reports that a chemical reaction had occurred in the restaurant's kitchen, Boston's WHDH-TV reported.
A Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Jacksonville, Fl. Massachusetts authorities say a Buffalo Wild Wings employee has died and eight others have been hospitalized following a chemical mixture at the restaurant.
Those 10 individuals, including two patrons, experienced symptoms including shortness of breath and runny eyes and took themselves to area hospitals, Interim Fire Chief Michael Patterson said Thursday.
The man, who has not yet been named, was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.
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Investigators are looking at the possibility that an employee poured a bleach-based cleaning compound on the kitchen floor to clean it before the Thursday dinner rush, not realizing that the floor had been treated earlier with an acidic agent.
"The gentleman who passed away was an employee of Buffalo Wild Wings who attempted to squeegee the product out of the building and he was overcome", Patterson said.
Firefighters said anyone who was in the restaurant at the time and believes they may have been impacted should seek treatment immediately. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also been notified.
"Because the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to share any additional comment at this time", the statement continued. According to Patterson, hazmat readings throughout the restaurant indicate it's now safe.
He could give no information about the employee who died.
The spokesperson did, however, send a statement the company initially released Thursday night, which said the chain is "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". He said it was unclear whether that substance was mixed with another chemical.