Disney’s Foodles Production (UK), a film production company, was on Wednesday fined £1.6 million over 2014 accident involving actor Harrison Ford. Ford, 74, was crushed by a hydraulic door during filming for the latest Star Wars movie. The star was knocked to the ground and pinned down by the heavy door while filming for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire in June 2014. He could have been killed by the door on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship which crushed him like a ‘blunt-edged guillotine’, a court heard.
Hollywood star Ford, who was 71 at the time, was reprising his role as Han Solo when he was hit by the door, which had been designed to mimic the action of a door on the original set. His sidekick Chewbacca’s safety was also endangered by the incident, which saw Ford suffer a broken tibia and fibula, a dislocated ankle and a cut hand. The Health and Safety Executive said the power of the rapidly closing metal-framed door meant Ford was hit with a power comparable to the weight of a small car.
Foodles Production was set up specifically for the making of the film. It was fined a total of £1.6 million on Wednesday after admitting two counts of breaching its health and safety duties. Aylesbury Crown Court was told the scene being shot involved Ford helping his injured Wookiee friend Chewie aboard the ship then shutting the door behind him. Ford had gone through the door and hit a button. He started to walk back through it, believing the set was not live – as it was a rehearsal – and that it would not close. But it was remotely operated by another person, and as the star passed underneath he was hit in the pelvic area and pinned to the ground.
Director JJ Abrams and Ford screamed for the door to be lifted but it could not be done manually and he had to be released by the controller. The actor was airlifted to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital from the set of the much-anticipated latest instalment in the Star Wars saga.