UK firm fined over Harrison Ford injury on "Star Wars" set

Reuters
Moviegoers wait before the first showing of the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the entrance of a movie theatre in Tokyo
Moviegoers wait before the first showing of the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the entrance of a movie theatre in Tokyo, Japan, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato

LONDON (Reuters) - A British production firm involved in making "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been fined 1.6 million pounds ($2.0 million)for failing to protect actors and workers after an incident in which Harrison Ford's leg was broken, the BBC reported.

London-based Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, owned by Walt Disney Co, had admitted two breaches of health and safety laws. The sentence was handed down at Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire, southern England.

Ford, who plays the much-loved character Han Solo, was injured after he became trapped under a rapidly closing metal-framed door during filming in June 2014 at Pinewood Studios, near London.

The power of the door's drive system was comparable to the weight of a small car, according to Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a state agency which enforces workplace safety regulations.

"This was a foreseeable incident," a spokesman for the HSE said in a statement at the time.

"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," he said.

Ford, who was 71 at the time, was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford after the incident and later had surgery on his left leg.

With global ticket sales worth well over $2 billion, "The Force Awakens", the seventh instalment of the Star Wars saga, is the third highest-grossing movie in Hollywood history, behind "Avatar" and "Titanic".

(Reporting by Stephen Addison)