July 26, 2016 / 3:57 PM / a year ago

UK producers guilty over Harrison Ford's broken leg on Star Wars set

Harrison Ford arrives at the European Premiere of Star Wars, The Force Awakens in Leicester Square, London, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - A production company involved in making “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has pleaded guilty in a British court to failing to protect actors and workers after an incident in which Harrison Ford’s leg was broken, officials said on Tuesday.

The star, 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, said Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a state agency which enforces workplace safety regulations.

“This was a foreseeable incident,” a spokesman for HSE said in a statement.

“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.

The production firm, London-based Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, could not immediately be reached for comment. Representatives of the firm entered the guilty plea during a hearing earlier at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court.

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 installment of the Star Wars saga, is the third highest-grossing movie in Hollywood history, behind “Avatar” and “Titanic”.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Giles Elgood

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