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Cherry Picker Caves Into San Francisco Sidewalk

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A cherry picker teeters on a collapsed sidewalk at Grant Ave. and Kearny St. in San Francisco, March 1, 2011. (CBS)

A cherry picker teeters on a collapsed sidewalk at Grant Ave. and Kearny St. in San Francisco, March 1, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / BCN) — A 25,000-pound cherry picker sank through a section of sidewalk early Tuesday morning along San Francisco’s Sutter Street, according to the city’s department of public works.

The cherry picker was being used to clean windows on the Banana Republic building between Grant Avenue and Kearny Street when it punctured the sidewalk around 2:15 a.m.

It created a hole that measured about four feet by seven feet, DPW spokeswoman Gloria Chan said.

The machine operator was not injured, and called police for assistance.

City engineers assessed the damage and determined that no serious structural damage was done to the street or building, Chan said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

A construction company installed steel plates at the site Tuesday to secure the sidewalk for pedestrians.

Mel Annuzzi, co-owner of Annuzzi Construction, said the collapse was at least partially due to the fact that the part of the sidewalk where the collapse occurred was not reinforced.

The cherry picker was removed and Sutter Street was reopened to traffic about 10 a.m., Chan said.

Owners of the building will pay to reconstruct the sidewalk, Chan.

The collapse didn’t hurt business for Banana Republic and the store was open at 10 a.m. despite the fact that the hole leads to the store’s stockroom, manager Na Yong said.

“There was minimal defective merchandise that was damaged,” Yong said.

The store was offering discounts to customers Tuesday due to the inconvenience, she said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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