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.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said officers were searching for the man, who had fled the scene.
Building firm Triton Construction said there had been no structural damage.
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.
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”. BBC