Film company who could have killed Harrison Ford appear in Milton Keynes court

Magistrates in Milton Keynes are today hearing the case of a film production company whose health and safety breaches could have killed Hollywood star Harrison Ford.

Tuesday, 26th July 2016, 2:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2016, 11:09 am
Harrison Ford in Star Wars. Photo: PA

The actor was crushed by a hydraulic door on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship while filming the most recent Star Wars movie at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

He suffered a broken leg and had to be airlifted to hospital in Oxford.

Magistrates heard how he could have been killed by the weight of the door.

The incident as he rehearsed during shooting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire in June 2014.

The then 71-year-old was practising his role as Han Solo when he was hit by the door, designed to replicate the action of a door on the set of the original 1970s Star Wars film.

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, which is owned by Disney, admitted two breaches under health and safety legislation.

Andrew Marshall, prosecuting, told the Milton Keynes magistrates Harrison had gone through the door with another actor and hit a button.

He started to walk back through the door, believing it would not close. But it was remotely operated by another person and, as the star passed underneath, it slammed shut, hitting him in the pelvic area with the force of a small car.

Mr Marshall said: “It could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn’t was because an emergency stop was activated.”

The Health and Safety Executive said the power of the rapidly closing metal-framed door was comparable to the weight of a small car.

Harrison spoke about the incident during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show last year. He said in the 1970s film a door would have been closed in the old-fashioned way using a pulley and a stage hand.

“But now we had lots of money and technology and so they built a f***ing great hydraulic door which closed at light speed,” he told Ross.

Defending Foodles in court, Angus Withington said the company would contest the level of risk involved.

The HSE described the incident as “foreseeable

A spokesman said: “The British film industry has a world-renowned reputation for making exceptional films. Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff – regardless of their celebrity status – is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.”

Foodles is due to be sentenced next month.