The scene: A bustling, popular Mexican restaurant near St. Louis, where upstairs, patrons are going about the business of dining. Cut to downstairs, where employees are trying to clean up a basement flooded with contaminated water and waste. Upstairs? Normal. Downstairs? Disgusting. Until an unrelated fire alarm went off, customers apparently had no idea of the dirty mess a few feet below their feet.
FOX2 Now in St. Louis says “appalling conditions” at the eatery prompted the fire marshal to kick all customers out immediately and shut down the restaurant. A sewage backup had covered the basement floor with all kinds of grody muck, as seen in a cell phone video taken by the fire marshal.
Toilet paper was floating around as well as other, unidentifiable bits of waste. Watching the video does invite a shudder of revulsion with all that oozing, flowing brown water. Yick.
“Employees were trying to squeegee solid materials into adjacent drains, but a number of them were still walking through it, up the stairs to other parts of the restaurant,” said the fire marshal.
He contacted county health department officials after his firefighters stumbled into the flood waters. Authorities subsequently ordered all contaminated equipment and food to be sanitized or tossed.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I think the St. Louis County Health Department officials at the scene, they were equally as shocked,” adds the marshal.
And while the sewage discovery didn’t happen until about 7:30 on Tuesday night, the backup had reportedly been flowing since at least that morning.
So why were customers allowed on the premises to eat food with that unholy mess going on downstairs? When asked, the owner simply aid, “I wasn’t here.”