New Mexico slams ‘Rust’ movie firm for ‘willful’ safety failure

(Reuters) – New Mexico on Wednesday fined Rust Movie Productions LLC the maximum amount possible and blasted the company for “willful” safety lapses leading to the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last year during the filming of Western “Rust.”

An investigation by the state’s worker safety agency, which fined the company $137,000, found that the production firm knew firearm safety procedures were not being followed and demonstrated “plain indifference” to the hazards, the New Mexico Environment Department said in a statement.

“This tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said in the news release.

Ms. Hutchins was killed in October when a revolver that actor and producer Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with during filming in New Mexico fired a live round that hit her and movie director Joel Souza. Mr. Souza was wounded but survived.

“While we appreciate OSHA’s time and effort in its investigation, we disagree with its findings and plan to appeal,” Rust Movie Productions spokesman Stefan Friedman said in a statement on Wednesday.

New Mexico’s work safety agency administers the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration program.




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