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New Mexico health and safety bureau is investigating accidental 'Rust' shooting

·2-min read
A vehicle from the Office of the Medical Investigator enters the front gate leading to the Bonanza Creek Ranch on October 22, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A vehicle from the Office of the Medical Investigator enters the front gate leading to the Bonanza Creek Ranch on October 22, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images
  • The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is investigating the "Rust" shooting.

  • The state bureau can impose civil penalties in workplace accident incidents.

  • The film's production company reported the shooting to the bureau on Thursday evening.

The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is investigating the accidental shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of Alec Baldwin's "Rust," according to Deadline.

The state board has the power to impose civil penalties in incidents of workplace accidents, even if authorities decline to press charges.

"Our state OSHA program is investigating this," Rebecca Roose, deputy cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, told Deadline. "The state takes all workplace safety issues very seriously and will work diligently through our investigation of this tragic fatality."

According to a statement on the bureau's website, the film's production company reported the shooting to OHSB Thursday evening in accordance with workplace safety laws. The agency is coordinating with local law enforcement, as well as the production company and employees on set to investigate the incident.

The announcement comes one day after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of "Rust," accidentally killing Hutchins, and injuring Souza.

The prop gun contained a "live round," a prop masters union told its members on Friday. A source in the union told the Los Angeles Times that "live round" in the film industry refers to any item loaded into a gun, including blanks. It remains unclear what type of projectile was in the gun that killed Hutchins.

Baldwin is cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation into what went wrong. No charges have been filed. On Friday, the actor released a statement saying he was "heartbroken."

An affidavit obtained by The New York Times says the film's assistant director indicated the gun was not loaded just moments before Baldwin pulled the trigger.

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