Walt Whitman Mall Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Kills Manager at Legal Seafood

Officials say one man died and 27 other people were hospitalized after carbon monoxide poisoning at a mall restaurant.

Police and Huntington Manor Fire Department firefighters responded to a report that a woman had fallen and hit her head in the basement at Legal Seafood, 160 Walt Whitman Road. Upon arrival, police and emergency personnel felt nauseous and dizzy and detected high levels of carbon monoxide.

Police evacuated the Legal Seafood restaurant and found the manager, Steven Nelson, 55, of Copiague, unresponsive in the basement. Nelson was transported to Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Twenty-seven other victims, including four ambulance personnel and three police officers, were transported to five area hospitals with non-life threatening symptoms. Most of the victims were employees at Legal Seafood. The investigation is focusing on the restaurant’s heating equipment — possibly a faulty flue from a water heater.

Neighboring restaurants — Panera Bread and The Cheesecake Factory — were also evacuated. The lethal levels carbon monoxide appear to have been confined to the basement of Legal Seafood.

Homicide and Arson Squad detectives are investigating the incident.

Chief Fire Marshal Terrence McNally reported that a flue from a water heated was suspected as a source of the problem.

Video from next-door at Panera Bread (VIDEO CREDIT: TheMrDJD).

Police and Fire Radio Scanners.