Police are investigating after a construction worker used an excavator to decimate the reception area of a newly built hotel in Liverpool, Britain — reportedly because his pay was overdue.
In an alternate view of the mayhem posted online, other workers are seen watching in amazement as the scorned worker uses the machine’s crane arm to scrape tiles and wires from ceiling. He fled from the scene after wrecking the building, according to police.
Samuel White, a ceiling repairer at the site, said that the incident lasted for “a good 20 or 30 minutes.” He referred to the man as “some idiot in a mini digger” who claimed he was owed 600 pounds — equal to about $777, the Independent reported.
“The handover was today, everything completed, we’d put the last tile in, cleaned up and made sure everything was perfect,” White said. “Then some idiot in a mini digger decided to drive through the middle of the building.”
England-based Triton Construction said in a Monday statement that it was the principal contractor on the project, a TraveLodge in Liverpool Innovation Park. According to the company, the man responsible worked for subcontractor MF Construction and had been waiting for his manager to arrive with his pay, which he told other workers at the site was late.
His wrath caused some damage to the hotel’s reception area, the company said.
“It is alleged that the labourer couldn’t track down the owner of MF Construction and he became increasingly frustrated,” the statement read. “Fortunately, there were no injuries to Staff Members or other operatives, subcontractors on site. Additionally, there is no structural damage, so repairs can be undertaken relatively quickly.”
MF Construction did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident and related allegations Tuesday.
Police in Merseyside, a county in Northwest England that includes Liverpool, said Tuesday that they had located and planned to interview a man involved in the incident. They said one person was treated for eye irritation at a hospital after being exposed to diesel. No one else was injured, according to police.
One tweet containing video of the incident was retweeted more than 10,000 times as of Tuesday evening. The Twitter user who posted the footage on Monday, said he also did work at the site and received a late payment, adding that it was “only a matter of time something like this happened."
A GoFundMe account created to cover the driver’s alleged lost wages and legal fees had garnered nearly 5,000 pounds ($6,477) in donations as of Tuesday evening. The fund’s creator, Jack Wellon, wrote that he had been in touch with the man involved and suggested there were other workers at the site who hadn’t been paid.
“Many people in the building trade encounter similar situations week in week out and this guy has helped MANY tradesmen and workers to get paid on time and to stand up for themselves when its really needed,” Wellon wrote.