The screen was showing a close up of some buildings in ruins. Excavators and bulldozers [...] debris aside, while the survivors watched the work with anguish and despair on their faces.
OK, I guess I could use put. But I think it sounds too soft for such heavy work. I also thought of push but I guess excavators don't actually push things? (unless push can also be used for 'grabbing things and putting them aside').
So I can't think of the proper verb. Any suggestions?