Long Island, New York – A mysterious carbon monoxide leak at the Huntington Station Walt Whitman Mall claimed the life of a restaurant manager and injured 27 other people Saturday night. As of Sunday, the venue and three adjacent restaurants remained closed as the investigation into what happened remains ongoing.
Local police were sent to the Legal Sea Foods restaurant after a 911 call reported that an employee of the restaurant had passed out and tumbled down the stairs to the basement. Officers found Steven Nelson, the restaurant manager, at the base of the stairs. The 55-year-old man was being rushed to Huntington Hospital when he died. In all, 27 other people were transferred to 5 surrounding hospitals as a result of carbon monoxide exposure, but no one suffered serious injuries. The victims included three police officers, four ambulance drivers, and many restaurant employees. There weren’t many patrons affected.
At this point, police are not ruling out whether the deadly gas leak was intentional. They have sent both arson squad officers and homicide detectives to conduct a thorough investigation. This much they have said on the record and that is the incident seems to have occurred only the basement of the sea food restaurant.