Monday 19 August 2019

Investigation launched as crew member falls to death from building on set of Tom Hanks' new film

Tom Hanks (Ben Stevens/PA)
Tom Hanks (Ben Stevens/PA)

Bang Showbiz

An investigation has been opened into the death of a crew member on the set of Tom Hanks' Mr. Rogers biopic.

Sixty-one-year-old sound mixer James Emswiller, was reportedly taking a smoke break on the top of a building on the Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania set, when he fell and plummeted two stories to his death, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

And now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the death, which they have six months to complete.

A spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter: "If OSHA uncovers violations of any sort, citations will be issued."

It has been claimed that Mr Emswiller may have suffered a heart attack.

Sony Pictures, which is making the film, said in a statement: "This is a devastating tragedy and the studio is investigating the matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s loved ones, friends, and colleagues."

The movie stars Tom as Fred Rogers, the host of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood', the popular educational children's TV series of the 60s and 70s which aired on PBS.

It is based on the real-life friendship between Rogers and Tom Junod, a cynical journalist who was sent to interview the TV star only to find the encounter transformed his outlook on life.

'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' began airing in 1968 and captured the hearts and imaginations of children across America. The show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with Morgan Neville's documentary 'Won't You Be My Neighbor' premiering at the Sundance film festival.

Fred Rogers died in 2003 aged 74.

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