Editor: Death shocked the world but we must all be safe at work

It is always shocking when tragedy occurs in any workplace but it causes huge waves when somebody is shot dead on a Hollywood film set.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 7:07 am
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 7:07 am
Candles are placed in front of a photo of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honour

The news was greeted with incredulity this weekend. How could such a thing happen? What on earth was so wrong with the safety checks that nobody spotted a real bullet before putting a gun in the hands of a well known Hollywood actor and telling him to shoot.

The star in question, Alec Baldwin, has said “there are no words to convey my shock and sadness” following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust.

The actor, 63, confirmed he is “’ fully co-operating’ with the police investigation after he fired a prop gun on the US set of the Western, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.

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In a statement posted on his arts foundation’s social media account, Baldwin described the event as a ‘tragedy’ and said he is in communication with Hutchins’s husband.

He said: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.

“I’m fully co-operating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.

“My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Rust’s director of photography Hutchins was killed during the incident on Thursday, officials in Santa Fe, New Mexico, previously confirmed.

The 42-year-old was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital but she was pronounced dead.

Following the incident, Shannon Lee, the sister of late actor Brandon Lee, has said: “no-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set.”

Lee, 28, the son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, was killed in 1993 after he was shot on the set of the film The Crow.

The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but a post-mortem examination found a .44-calibre bullet lodged near his spine.

The incidents that killed Lee and Hutchins are part of a long history of tragedies on film sets.

Everybody should be safe to go to work, no matter how glamorous the job.