Buffalo Wild Wings Employee Killed from Chemical Exposure to Cleaning Agent, 10 Others Injured

A Buffalo Wild Wings employee has died and 10 other people have been injured from chemical exposure to a cleaning agent that was used to clean the kitchen floor of the chain’s restaurant in Burlington, MA. At about 5:30 PM on Thursday, firefighters arrived at the scene on South Ave. after receiving reports of a “sickened individual and a potential chemical reaction.” When they arrived, they found employee Ryan Baldera (32), who said he felt nauseous after breathing in fumes from the cleaning agent. Baldera was rushed to Lahey Hospital in serious condition, where he later died from his injuries. Co-workers told local news media that Baldera was recently married and a new dad to a baby boy.

At least 10 other people were injured in the incident and drove themselves to Lahey Hospital and Lowell Hospital. Among those injured, two were customers and eight were employees. Their symptoms included shortness of breath, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing.

A preliminary investigation found that another employee had prepared the kitchen floor for cleaning with “Super 8,” which is a cleaning agent manufactured by Auto-Chlor that contains sodium hypochlorite. That employee had quickly become sick from fumes and went outside. Baldera then stepped in and attempted to “squeegee” the product out of the building when he was overcome by fumes. Boston 25 News reports that officials say the product “Scale Kleen” was spilled while the employee was using “Super 8” on the floor, which is what caused the reaction.

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