‘We are shocked and saddened’: 1 dead, 10 injured in Buffalo Wild Wings hazmat incident

Authorities were called to the Burlington restaurant around 5:36 p.m. Thursday.

Emergency crews at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington, Mass. Thursday night.
Emergency crews at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington on Thursday night. –John Guilfoil via AP

One man is dead and 10 other people went to the hospital after a hazardous material incident unfolded at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington on Thursday evening, according to authorities.

Around 5:36 p.m., the Burlington Fire Department responded to the restaurant at 15 South Ave. for a report of a chemical reaction in the kitchen area. Emergency responders found the male employee, who had nausea after he is believed to have inhaled fumes from a “strong cleaning agent.” He was taken to nearby Lahey Hospital & Medical Center by ambulance in “serious condition” and later died, a news release from the fire department said.

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Interim Fire Chief Michael Patterson told reporters Thursday night that one of the restaurant employees was attempting to clean the floor when they were exposed to Super 8, a cleaning agent with a “high concentrate of chlorine.” That employee immediately left and went outside for fresh air.

“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 interim chief said.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday, nine people — two patrons, the rest employees — had gone to Lahey Hospital, and a 10th went to a hospital in the Lowell area, according to the release.

“Their conditions included difficulty breathing and burning feelings in the eyes,” the release said.

The building was evacuated by firefighters, and a Tier 1 hazmat incident was called, according to authorities.

“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 statement from a spokesperson for Buffalo Wild Wings, emailed to Boston.com, said.

Members of a state hazmat response team went into the restaurant around 9:30 p.m. A team was expected to be called in to clean the building. There isn’t a threat to public safety, officials said.

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The Burlington fire and police departments, along with the state Department of Fire Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are investigating.

Watch the full press conference: