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Flyers’ trainers sue club after allegedly being exposed to Zamboni chemicals that may be deadly

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Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa with Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Jim McCrossin (left) and Sal Raffa (right) with Travis Konecny at All-Star festivities in 2020. The trainers are suing the Flyers. Photo: Zack Hill.

Philadelphia Flyers trainers Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa are suing the club after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, sources confirmed.

Crossing Broad was the first to report it.

The men allege their conditions came from exposure to chemicals used in the Zambonis at the team’s practice facility in Voorhees.

McCrossin, 64, the team’s director of medical services, and Raffa, 42, allege the Zambonis used gasoline and/or fuel containing or producing carcinogens. They said there were other machines available that do not require gasoline or fuel with carcinogens, according to the report.

The Flyers’ training room is in close proximity to the Zamboni room, where the vehicles idle. The Zamboni room lacks appropriate ventilation, according to McCrosssin and Raffa, who claim they were exposed to the carcinogens.

Th report said McCrossin developed “rare medical conditions of essential thrombocythemia, myeloproliferative neoplasm, and myelofibrosis (blood cancer), which is incurable.”

He has worked at the facility since 2000.

Raffa developed a “rare medical condition of essential thrombocythemia,” which is incurable, according to the report.

Both men are still on the Philadelphia Flyers’ staff.

The Flyers, in a statement, said the claims by the trainers “have no merit” and could not comment further because the matter was in litigation.

Twelve defendants were named, including the Flyers ownership Comcast Holdings Corporation, and Comcast Spectacor Holding Company.

The complaint says the defendants knew the Zambonis required proper ventilation because the information was included in the operation manuals.

It is unknown whether any of the Flyers players, staff members, or others who visited the arena suffered any harm.

Philly Hockey Now has reached out to McCrossin, who is in his 24th year as the Flyers’ head trainer.  Raffa, formerly the Phantoms’ head trainer, has been with the Flyers as an assistant trainer since 2006.

The Flyers did not have practice Monday, and they will play in Toronto on Tuesday and in Montreal on Thursday. They are not expected to practice again at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees until Friday.

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