Three people died while nine were injured last night on the Indian 2 film set near Chennai, India.
A mobile crane on the set at the EVP Studios was, according to local reports and the police, equipped with a platform, or ‘box’ from which the assistant director, 34, an art assistant, 29, and a production assistant, 60, were checking the lighting on an outdoor set. The crane appears to be a pick & carry industrial crane, which somehow lost stability and overturned striking at least nine people below, some of whom sustained serious injuries, while the three men that had been in the ‘box’ were declared dead at the scene.
It is not clear if the ‘box’ was fixed to the boom nose or suspended from the hook. We do know that a suspended cage was used on the site, and that a telescopic boom lift was on scene. It is also possible that a larger crane lifting lighting rigs might have also been involved somehow, but information is unclear, and the facility has been shut down.
As is normal in India, the crane operator was immediately cited for negligence and promptly ran away from the scene. His current location is unknown although he has been cited under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 304 A (death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. The crane was normally used to erect and move scenery on the sets.
A police statement said: "The men were inside the box like structure on top of the crane when it crashed. It appears they were working on lighting for the shoot. The incident happened at 9:30pm on Wednesday. We will fix responsibility based on the forensic report."
Lyca Productions issued a statement which said: "No words could ease what we truly feel," while the well known leading actor Kamal Haasan, who plays the main character in the film, added: “I have lost three of my colleagues. More than my pain, the grief of the family who lost them will be manifold. I take part in their grief as one of them.”