Maximum fine levied in fatal on-set shooting case

Rust Movie Productions must pay $139,793 says New Mexico safety bureau

by Jennie Kermode

Alec Baldwin fired the fatal shot
Alec Baldwin fired the fatal shot Photo: Gage Skidmore

The on-set shooting incident which cost the life of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has been condemned by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, which today levied a fine of $139,793 on Rust Movie Productions. The regulator found serious breaches of safety protocols which had been left unaddressed in the run-up to the incident.

"Members of Rust management knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and acted with plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices, adhere to film industry standards for firearm safety, and take corrective action," said the Bureau in a statement.

Hutchins died when a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin turned out to contain a real bullet. The film's director, Joel Souza, was also injured. Two other gun-related incidents were found to have occurred before the fatal shooting.

Alec Baldwin has said that he feels sad about what happened but does not believe that he is personally to blame. He has stated that Hutchins asked him to point the gun at her whilst setting up a shot and that he doesn't know who should be blamed. Matt Hutchins, her husband, has publicly condemned him for this and says that he does not understand his failure to take responsibility himself.

The Bureau noted that its findings will not necessarily affect the findings of the ongoing criminal investigation into the incident.

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