Rust film production knew firearm safety wasn't being followed on set before shooting by Alec Baldwin

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GB News Reporter

By GB News Reporter

Published: 20/04/2022

- 17:38

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin was discharged during rehearsals for the western film Rust in New Mexico

Rust Movie Productions "knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed" on set before the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, a new report has found.

The company has been given a fine of £104,810, the maximum allowable by state law in New Mexico, following a six-month investigation by the New Mexico Environment Department.

Ms Hutchins was killed on the set of the movie in October last year after a prop gun actor Alec Baldwin was holding was discharged.

Director Joel Souza was also wounded in the shooting on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe.

Actor Alec Baldwin
Actor Alec Baldwin

The film set of Rust is seen through a barbed wire fence after Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer
The film set of Rust is seen through a barbed wire fence after Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer
Kevin Mohatt

The report concluded that management “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action”.

It also noted that while the film industry has “clear national guidelines” for firearms safety, Rust Movie Productions “failed to follow these guidelines or take other effective measures to protect workers”.

The guidelines require live ammunition “never to be used nor brought onto any studio lot or stage” and that safety meetings take place every day when firearms are being handled.

They also requires that employees “refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone” except after consultation with senior figures such as the armorer.

But the report concludes: “By failing to follow these practices, an avoidable loss of life occurred.”

It comes as the Hollywood actor continues to fight a number of lawsuits stemming from the incident.

Cases are being brought by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, head of lighting Serge Svetnoy and Ms Hutchins’ family.

Environment cabinet secretary James Kenney said: “Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety.

“This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.

“Employees should speak up about unsafe workplace conditions or report them anonymously to us.”

Robert Genoway, chief of the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau Bureau, said: “As a reminder, it is illegal for any employer to retaliate against any employee who alleges a workplace safety violation.”

The bureau said the investigation involved 1,560 hours of staff time, 14 interviews and review of 566 documents.

In January, Baldwin surrendered his mobile phone to authorities as part of the inquiry.

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