A new report reveals that a Rust crew member may lose his arm after suffering a venomous spider bite on set, weeks after the death of Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin’s Rust set has become the site of a second tragedy after a crew member was bitten by a venomous spider. This news comes just weeks after cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was fatally shot after a prop gun held by Baldwin was discharged on the set in New Mexico. Baldwin was informed the gun was “cold” and did not contain live ammunition, but it was later discovered that a live round had been left in the gun, which killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but troubling stories of prop gun mishaps and crew member frustrations suggest there may have been some negligence on the Rust set leading up to the tragic incident.
The tragedy has raised serious discussions among those in the industry about gun safety on film sets. Baldwin himself recently spoke out about the incident in a roadside interview, expressing his desire to limit firearms on set. The terrible tragedy has resulted in both the actor and others in the industry calling for new measures to be taken to guarantee safety on sets. Production on Rust was immediately halted and will remain shut down as the investigation continues. Baldwin doesn’t think Rust production will resume at all, and a second incident that has arisen from the set in recent days may prove that to be true.
As reported by SkyNews, a Rust crew member was bitten by a venomous spider on set and may now need his arm amputated. Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was closing the set when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. A fundraising page has provided updates about his condition and revealed that he suffered necrosis and sepsis in his arm following the bite. Miller is currently hospitalized and has already undergone multiple surgeries to fight the infection caused by the bit, but it is possible that he could lose his arm if the infection can’t be controlled. Read the fundraiser’s update below as quoted by SkyNews:
“[Miller] has been hospitalized and endured multiple surgeries each day as doctors do their best to stop the infection and try to save his arm from amputation. It will be a very long road to recovery for Jason if the medical team is able to save his arm. If under worse circumstances he loses his arm, this is a life-changing and devastating event for Jason and his family.”
The Rust production crew has declined to comment on the incident thus far. It is certainly rattling news, as Miller’s grave condition marks the second life-threatening incident to occur on set within weeks. However, it’s unlikely that any responsibility for this incident can be placed on the production team. Brown recluse spiders are known to occur in New Mexico and it appears that Miller came upon one by chance. Still, it is shocking to see two tragedies occur in such close proximity on the same set. These incidents, combined with troubling stories of corners being cut and crew members resigning over working conditions, suggests that more could have been done to make the set of Rust safe.
One can only hope that this second incident will not prove as tragic as the first, and that Miller is able to save his arm. Regardless of whether an amputation is necessary, Miller will no doubt still face a long road to recovery after a life-altering injury. It remains to be seen if the incident will have any impact on the ongoing investigation into Rust’s on-set shooting tragedy. As the investigation continues, authorities have stated that it is too early to confirm if any charges will be filed. Whether there will be any investigation into this second incident, or whether it will simply be looked at as an unrelated chance occurrence, is unknown. The tragedies that have occurred on the set of Rust seem to be one-in-a-million, but are shattering enough to hopefully revolutionize how safety is handled on sets.
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