LONDON, United Kingdom – Hollywood star Harrison Ford could have been killed by a hydraulic door on a Star Wars movie set, a court heard Tuesday, as the Disney-owned production company admitted to safety breaches.
Ford, then aged 71, suffered a broken left leg on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship after he was pinned down by the heavy, metal-framed door during filming at Pinewood Studios near London.
The court heard that in the incident on June 12, 2014, Ford had been walking backwards through the portal, believing the set was not live and the vertically-sliding door would not close – but it was remotely activated by someone.
The actor had to be airlifted to hospital in Oxford.
“It could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn’t was because an emergency stop was activated,” prosecutor Andrew Marshall told the court in Milton Keynes, a town near London and the film studios.
Ford, who was reprising his role as Han Solo in the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, spoke about the incident on the BBC’s Jonathan Ross Show last year.
The actor said he had been hit by “a f*cking great hydraulic door which closed at light speed”.
Foodles Production, which pleaded guilty to a breach of duty towards employees and a breach over non-employees, will be sentenced on August 22.
“The safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority throughout our production,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a government agency, said the power of the rapidly-closing door would have been comparable to the weight of a small car.
A spokesman said that managing on-set risks was “vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.” – Rappler.com