Liverpool

Travelodge Liverpool: Digger driver wrecks hotel reception

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Media captionTravelodge Liverpool: Digger driver wrecks hotel reception

A furious builder ploughed a digger through the doors of a new Travelodge hotel and repeatedly smashed into the building amid a pay dispute.

The driver mounted the steps of the Liverpool hotel and went on to crash through the reception desk and windows inside as he ignored pleas to stop.

Merseyside Police said a man had been located and would be interviewed as part of the investigation.

Building firm Triton Construction said there had been no structural damage.

Image copyright Samuel White /PA
Image caption The machine left a mass of broken glass and twisted metal in its wake

Police arrived at the Liverpool Innovation Park hotel at about 15:00 GMT on Monday.

The force spokesman said paramedics treated a man for eye irritation caused by exposure to diesel.

Ceiling fixer Samuel White, 24, witnessed what happened and described the man, who had claimed to be owed about £600, as "some idiot in a mini digger" who "decided to drive through the middle of the building".

He said the destruction went on for "a good 20 or 30 minutes" and had left workers "gobsmacked".

"The site manager was running around like a headless chicken," he added.

Triton Construction said the man had been employed by a sub-contractor, MF Construction.

"It is alleged that the labourer couldn't track down the owner of MF Construction and he became increasingly frustrated [so] took it upon himself to drive a small mini excavator through the front entrance screen of the hotel," the Triton Construction spokesman added.

MF Construction have not responded to requests for a comment.

Image copyright Samuel White/PA
Image caption The scene of destruction that was left inside the Travelodge after a digger was driven into the lobby

An online page set up to help fund "unpaid wages" has seen more than £2,700 pledged.

Jack Wellon, who launched the campaign, said it was "a contractor versus worker situation and guess who usually comes out on top with huge payouts and the worker going short? Not this time".

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