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Prop Gun Accidents that Claimed Lives on the Film Set


On film set, real-life tragedy happens, as a misfire from a prop gun or a blank ends up causing critical injuries and claiming lives. Some bringing about lawsuits or changes in safety guidelines.


Film sets have encountered such fatal accidents before, as the recent prop misfire involved US actor Alec Baldwin who fired a live round in a prop gun, taking the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza on a film set in New Mexico, October 21.

Brandon Lee, the actor son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died aged just 28 in 1993 while filming ‘The Crow,’ after a prop gun which mistakenly had a dummy round loaded in it was fired at him.

Brandon Lee on the set of “The Crow.” Mr. Lee was fatally injured by a gun that was supposed to fire blanks.Credit…AA Film Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Dummy rounds contain no explosive charge and in this case were used to film a close-up. When blanks were loaded part of the dummy round remained in the gun.

After Lee was shot, the cameras kept rolling, and the crew on set only noticed something went wrong when he did not get up at the end of the scene.

In 1984, US actor Jon-Erik Hexum started joking around on the set of a television show after being frustrated by delays in filming.

He loaded a revolver with a blank, spun the chamber, put the gun to his temple and fired.

Unlike Lee, he was not killed by a projectile, but rather the force of the blast was strong enough to fracture his skull. He died days later in hospital.

Jon-Erik Hexum in “Cover Up,” a CBS detective action television series, in 1984.Credit, Getty Images.

A helicopter crash on the Los Angeles set of the “Twilight Zone” movie killed the actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, Renee Shinn Chen and My-ca Dinh Lee, in July 1982.

Read Also:Alec Baldwin to be Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the Fatal Film Set Shooting

Sarah Jones, a camera assistant, died on the set of the independent film “Midnight Rider,” about the musician Gregg Allman, in Georgia in February 2014. Ms. Jones was killed while helping prepare a shot that involved placing a bed across the tracks of a CSX railroad line.

Olivia Jackson, a stuntwoman for the actor Milla Jovovich, was severely injured while filming a sequence for “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in South Africa in September 2015. While riding a motorcycle, Ms. Jackson collided with a piece of camera equipment, according to Deadline.

Vic Morrow lost his life after an helicopter they were shooting on crashed., alongside two young actors.

Hutchins, 42, lost her life while Baldwin is said to have been devastated, as one local paper reported to have found him in tears outside Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, after the fatal incident.

Behind the magic of movies and television are actors and props, crew members, stunt performers and a sometimes dangerous set of circumstances for the people filming scenes.

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