Merseyside Police are appealing for information after a digger was driven through the entrance of an under-construction Travelodge in Liverpool yesterday, seriously damaging the property.
A report was received shortly before 3pm that the digger was being driven into the hotel at Liverpool Innovation Park. The driver then left the vehicle and made off on foot in the direction of Edge Lane.
The 79-bedroom Travelodge Liverpool Edge Lane hotel was due to open next month.
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.
Triton Construction, the principal contractor on the project, released a statement which read: "It is our understanding that one of the labourers, working for MF Construction (who were employed as the groundwork's sub-contractor for the project) had been waiting for his manager to arrive with his wages, which he told other workers on site were overdue. It is alleged that the labourer couldn't track down the owner of MF Construction and he became increasingly frustrated.
"At approximately 3.00pm, the labourer took it upon himself to drive a small mini excavator through the front entrance screen of the hotel and subsequently causing damage to finishes within the reception area.
"The labourer then ran from the scene and to our knowledge is being pursued by the police.
"Fortunately, there were no injuries to staff members or other operatives, sub-contractors on site. Additionally, there is no structural damage, so repairs can be undertaken relatively quickly."
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services and contractors attended to ensure the site was safe. Travelodge declined to comment on a live police investigation.
Developer Valedown, which owns the site, added: "As landlord of Liverpool Innovation Park, we were made aware yesterday of the alleged incident.
"And following on from Triton Construction's statement issued earlier today, given that this matter is now under police investigation, we wish to make no further comment at this time."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).