Police have launched an investigation after a man used a digger to destroy the reception of a brand new hotel on the day it was due to be completed.
Footage of the digger repeatedly smashing into the new Travelodge on Edge Lane, Liverpool, has gone viral, showing it tearing the front of the building apart.
One worker suggested that the rampage was the result of a pay dispute over £600.
The driver is thought to have spent 20-30 minutes in the digger wreaking havoc on Monday afternoon before running off.
Police said there were construction workers in the hotel at the time and one man was treated for eye irritation due to exposure to diesel, but they do not believe anyone else was injured.
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Ceiling fixer Samuel White, 24, said: “The handover was today, everything completed, we’d put the last tile in, cleaned up and made sure everything was perfect,”
“Then some idiot in a mini digger decided to drive through the middle of the building.”
Mr White repeated claims made by many on social media that the driver of the digger was angry over a pay dispute said to involve £600.
He said the destruction, which started shortly before 3pm, went on for “a good 20 or 30 minutes” before the driver left the vehicle and ran off.
“There were loads of workers outside all gobsmacked, jaws to the floor wondering what’s going on,” he added.
“The site manager was running around like a headless chicken, he wasn’t happy at all.”
Merseyside Police said they were called just before 3pm to reports that the digger was being driven into the entrance of the Travelodge building in the Liverpool Innovation Park.
The force said: “The driver then left the vehicle and made off on foot in the direction of Edge Lane.
“One man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene by North West Ambulance Service. It is not believed anyone else was injured during the incident.
“Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services and contractors attended to ensure the site was safe.”
A GoFundMe page set up for the driver of the digger has already raised hundreds of pounds in donations.