Buffalo Wild Wings worker dies from toxic chemicals at Mass. restaurant

While looking into threatening phone calls Buffalo Wild Wings had received Naperville police investigated the possibility that a hate crime occurred during an Oct. 26 racial incident at the restaurant on 75th Street. It was ultimately determined that

Buffalo Wild Wings employee dies after exposure to chemical at restaurant

The Burlington Fire Department said that Ryan Baldera, 32, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, died Thursday after inhaling toxic fumes produced by cleaning supplies in the kitchen at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Investigators said a worker had applied sodium hypochlorite from the cleaning product Super 8 on the floor, unaware that an acid-based cleaner had been spilled there.

At least 13 others were hospitalized, officials say.

A Buffalo Wild Wings spokesperson didn't immediately respond to Globe inquiries regarding grief counselors and the expected time the location might reopen.

At least 10 other people checked into a hospital after the incident, including both Buffalo Wild Wings employees and patrons. Emergency crew found him outside the restaurant and transported him to the 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. Two of them were customers and the rest are employees at the restaurant.

Four or five of them were held overnight, according to Burlington assistant fire chief Michael Patterson. When the worker inadvertently mixed the two products with a push broom, the mixture turned green and bubbled, becoming a risky toxic substance, Patterson says.

Buffalo Wild Wings gave the following statement to WHDH: "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 Naperville Police Department began an investigation after the restaurant received several threatening phone calls following that incident. "For some reason tonight it was just.a reaction that led to this", he said.

"The patients are being treated and monitored", Patterson said.

The incident happened around 5:30 p.m.at the 15 South Ave. restaurant. Authorities evacuated the restaurant and urged anyone who was inside at the time to get medical treatment, if needed. It will then be turned over to the management who will be responsible for cleaning the building to ensure it is safe, Patterson said.

He could give no information about the employee who died.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the Department of Labor has been notified, but has yet to publicly comment.

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