Los Angeles: Actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of his Western movie "Rust" that killed the film's director of photography and wounding the director, the authorities said here. According to Deadline, "Rust" is currently being filmed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.
A spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed, and the director Joel Souza, 48, was injured around 1:50 pm on the set of film on Thursday.
"Mr Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released. No arrests or charges have been filed. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives," a Santa Fe Sheriff's Department official told the publication.
Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to the University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, while Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical centre where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
In a statement Rust Movies Productions LLC, the banner behind the movie, has expressed their condolences to Halyna's family and loved ones.
"The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today's tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna's family and loved ones," said the banner's spokesperson.
The production company has also paused the filming on "Rust" for an undetermined amount of time.
"We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department's investigation.We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event," the statement continued.
This is not the first time an on-set death has been caused by a gun firing blanks. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum had died in October 1984 on the set of the TV series "Cover Up" when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died after a piece of a slug was lodged in his spine from a prop gun fired on the set of "The Crow" by another actor. Both the incidents were determined to have been accidents.