Buffalo Wild Wings manager dies, several hospitalized after exposure to toxic cleaning fumes

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The general manager at a Boston-area Buffalo Wild Wings is dead after being exposed on Thursday to a cleaning agent used on the kitchen floor. Fire officials say 10 others were hospitalized.

An accidental mix of cleaners — acid and bleach — generated toxic fumes that killed the manager of a Buffalo Wild Wings in Massachusetts, authorities said Friday.

The eatery’s 32-year-old manager, Ryan Baldera, was killed and 13others were taken to the hospital, according to the Fire Department in Burlington, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb.

The accident occurred shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday when a worker began cleaning the kitchen floor just before the dinner rush, Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson told NBC News on Friday.

But that employee did not know that an acid-based cleaner, Scale Kleen, had been spilled on the floor earlier, Patterson said. So when the worker used chlorine- and bleached-based Super 8 on the floor, the mixture turned green and started to bubble, Patterson added.

After that worker fled the kitchen with burning eyes and breathing issues, the manager grabbed a squeegee and tried to push the bubbling green concoction out of the restaurant and into an outdoor drain before he was unable to continue, according to the chief.

“He was quickly overcome … and the squeegeeing led him to a severe medical condition,” Patterson said.

Both the Scale Kleen and Super 8 cleaners had clear labels warning not to mix them with other products, according to fire officials.

“I believe this is just an accident,” Patterson said. The victim died at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington.

Memphis-based Auto-Chlor System appears to be the maker of both Scale Kleen and Super 8. But in a company statement, it only referred to Super 8.

“We understand the concerns, fears and questions you may have following the Buffalo Wild Wings chemical incident which may have involved Auto-Chlor’s product SUPER 8,” according to the statement.

“First and foremost, our condolences are with the individual and their family as well as those affected yesterday during the incident. The safety and well-being of our customers are our first priority, always.”

The statement continued, “At this time, working with OSHA, local authorities, and emergency teams on site, we are doing everything we can to determine all details behind this incident.”

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