ONE person was killed and 10 became violently ill in a “horrific” chemical incident at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in the US.
Staff and diners breathed in noxious fumes when exposed to a strong chemical cleaning agent at the chain's eatery in Burlington, Massachusetts, authorities said.
A Buffalo Wild Wings employee died and two customers, along with eight other workers checked themselves into hospital on Thursday.
They were exposed to sodium hypochlorite, which "is a high concentration of chlorine", explained Michael Patterson, the Burlington Fire Department's assistant chief.
Firefighters responded to a chemical reaction in the kitchen area of the restaurant, where a male employee was suffering from nausea after using cleaning agent, Super 8.
Patterson added: "The employee was taken to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in serious condition after being exposed to a strong cleaning agent. The man later died at the hospital."
The worker had been trying to squeeze the product out of a floor sponge, "when he was overcome"by the fumes.
Officials told WHDH that the man who died was trying to get the chemical out of the eatery after an employee who mixed the cleaning product became ill.
Other patients said they were coughing, and complained of difficulty in breathing and burning eyes.
A customer said: "We're just sitting there and then all of a sudden we start smelling the whatever it was, ammonia or whatever… and all of a sudden the inside of my nose starts burning.
"We see the employees, like waitstaff, everybody just flee."
There was no threat to public safety, officials said.
Firefighters evacuated the restaurant at 6pm, for a Tier 1 hazmat accident, Patterson added.
This level means that an incident involves hazardous materials, which can be contained, extinguished or abated using resources immediately available to firefighters.
Buffalo Wild Wings told NBC News: "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."
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