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Excavator Topples During Ford Auditorium Demolition

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(WWJ Photo/Florence Walton)

(WWJ Photo/Florence Walton)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) -  Authorities say an excavator has toppled at the site of Ford Auditorium in downtown Detroit.

Officer Samuel Balogun said the piece of construction equipment fell over Friday morning. Crews have been working at the site to demolish the riverfront landmark.

Officer Samuel Balogun said the operator received a minor injury, a cut to his hand, although police told WWJ Newsradio 950 that no one was injured. Earlier reports by police that a worker received a gash to his head turned out to be incorrect.

Some nearby cars, including one police vehicle, were damaged.

According to a news release from Mayor Dave Bing’s office, the machinery tipped over during wrecking operations and was to be hauled upright Friday afternoon and trucked away for inspection.  The incident is under investigation.

The demolition of the 5,000-seat auditorium is part of Bing’s plan to tear down blighted houses and buildings across the city.

Built in 1955, the building has been empty since the Detroit Symphony Orchestra left in 1989. Detroit City Council approved the tear-down in March.  Mayor Bing has said he hopes to move Chene Park to the riverfront property.

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