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Street cleaner has lucky escape after pavement collapses4th of December 2012
A man operating a street cleaning machine narrowly escaped injury when a pavement collapsed beneath him in Great Yarmouth, England.
Kelvin London was completing his early morning shift when a section of concrete on the footpath gave way and both he and his sweeping machine were plunged into a gaping hole.
A crane had to be called to lift the machine to safety. London, who managed to scramble out of the sweeper and turn off the engine after the incident, was shaken but unhurt.
He said: "There were a lot of leaves on the road so I went on the path, and suddenly I thought I'd been hit from behind. Then I found I was looking up into the air."
According to highway engineer Robert West: "Investigations are continuing to establish the cause of the subsoil wash-out that caused the collapse. Both Norfolk County Council and Anglian Water are surveying their drainage and sewer lines to establish any possible breaks that could have caused the problem."
Street cleaning in general is not without its occasional freak mishaps. In September, a man driving a street sweeper in New Mexico was shot at after giving chase to a felon he had witnessed robbing a petrol station. Luckily, the street sweeper was unhurt.
And in August, a mechanical malfunction caused the driver of a road sweeper in Essex to mount a pavement and go crashing through a garden fence. Neither the driver nor the homeowners were hurt - but their prize-winning roses were destroyed.