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Demolition misfortune

Excavator falls into building basement

April 28, 2011
By JOHANNA BOYLE - Journal Ishpeming Bureau ( , The Mining Journal

ISHPEMING - No one was injured Wednesday when the excavator being used to demolish the former J.C. Penney building in downtown Ishpeming fell through the floor into the building's basement.

The accident happened around 3 p.m. as crews from T&G United of Iron Mountain were working to demolish the building, where exterior work began Monday.

Crews first attempted to pull the equipment out on their own using a front-end loader. Workers from the city's Department of Public Works then brought in a second front-end loader to help pull it out.

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"We're going to get our biggest loader out here," said DPW Superintendent Jon Kangas before the second attempt to pull the excavator out. "They almost got it out with that loader."

The building was purchased by the city's Downtown Development Authority last fall, with the intent of returning the location to a sand lot to then be used for a new building or some other purpose.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.

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