Seven crew members reportedly walked off the set of the film "Rust" to protest working conditions hours before Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm, accidentally killing the cinematographer and injuring the director.
One camera crew member anonymously told The Associated Press that those working on the upcoming Western raised concerns about problems ranging from safety procedures to their housing accommodationsbefore Thursday's accident, which left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, dead and director Joel Souza, 48, under emergency care.
Rust Movie Productions LLC did not answer AP's emails Friday and Saturday seeking comment.
The Los Angeles Times and Deadline report that hours before the accident, members of the "Rust" camera crew packed up their gear and walked off the job and, according to the Los Angeles Times, were replaced with nonunion crew members. The outlets also noted at least two misfires with a prop gun on the set days before.
In a statement to the Times and Deadline, Rust Movie Productions said the “safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down," the company said. "We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Rust Productions and to Baldwin's production company, El Dorado Pictures, for comment.
A helicopter flew Hutchins to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital and has since been released, according to his representative Matt DelPiano.
USA TODAY obtained an email sent to members of IATSE Local 44, a union of propmakers and other craftspeople who work within the entertainment industry, about the incident. The message said that the prop gun from the "Rust" set was loaded with "a live single round" and that no Local 44 members were on set.
Deputies responded to a 911 call Thursday afternoon that someone had been shot on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of "Rust," according to the sheriff's office.
"Rust" stars Baldwin, 63, who also is a producer on the film. Production on the Western has been halted.
Contributing: Jenna Ryu and The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alec Baldwin 'Rust' crew walked out over safety issues before death