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(KSL News) An avalanche of debris came down on top of a giant machine doing demolition work on downtown's City Creek Center today. That accident happened as crews were demolishing a six-story office building on 100 South in downtown. It's part of the big "Downtown Rising" project.
Maria Christensen described the scene, saying, "It was very loud, lot of smoke, lot of dust."
When the dust settled, it was clear that tons of debris had come right down on top of the big machine. Passerby Ben Wright was recording the demolition with his small digital camera and captured the entire collapse.
Mike Christensen also had his digital camera rolling. His video is from farther back and shows the trackhoe being buried with debris. Witnesses say the collapse sounded like an explosion.
Maria Christensen says, "All at once the entire wall, the whole section came down right on top of him. Buried him completely, buried the backhoe completely."
The track hoe's cab is extremely strong, and protected the operator. He was drenched in hydraulic fluid but walked away shaken but unhurt.
A spokesperson for City Creek Center thanked the emergency response crews and says demolition operations have been shut down until today's collapse is investigated and it's safe to proceed with the work.