Texas Roadhouse reopens after hazmat scare

6:12 PM, Aug 3, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Alcoa) Texas Roadhouse on Fountain View Circle in Alcoa reopened Saturday after a hazmat situation sent more than a dozen people to the hospital.

Friday night, first responders taped off the restaurant after managers said an employee accidentally improperly mixed chemicals which created a gas cloud.

Texas Roadhouse market partner, Ron Houser, said, "It was a mixture of bleach and a de-limer that kinds of cleans out the dish machine. You don't mix those two together."

Eighteen people were taken to Blount Memorial Hospital, treated, and then released. Hospital officials said the patients were mainly treated for skin, eye, and lung irritation. Texas Roadhouse said all 18 were employees and that no customers were hurt.

City of Alcoa's Fire Captain Tom Clark said what happened inside Texas Roadhouse is a common mistake made inside many homes.

"The bigger thing to take away, as far as a homeowner, is not mixing chemicals. Read your labels, as far as how to use it, what not to use it with and how to store it," Cpt. Clark said.

Texas Roadhouse says all employees go through OSHA training, but more could be on the way.

"We'll have to step up our classes with them and make sure everybody understands the importance of what to do so we don't have this happen again," said Houser.

Texas Roadhouse said the employee who accidentally mixed the chemicals still works at the restaurant. He's expected to undergo additional training.

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