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Paramount Pictures has confirmed a story first reported on TMZ that a crew member working on the New Orleans set of the G.I. Joe sequel, Retaliation, has died.
The unidentified worker was operating a high-powered scissors lift as he helped to tear down a set when, according to reports, the machine tipped over and the man sustained fatal injuries. The studio, in a statement, simply said, “Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the [crew member's] family at this time."
It sounds like a tragic accident, yet one that follows all too quickly on the heels of another death on the set of a similarly large-budget action sequel, The Expendables 2. Last month, a stuntman died during an explosion while filming a scene for Sylvester Stallone’s anticipated follow up to his surprise action hit. These occurrences are rare, as safety usually is paramount on a film set – particularly one involving stunts and explosions. So to have two high-profile tragedies happen like this within a few weeks of each other is strange.
Addressing safety on a film set, Paramount officials commenting on G.I. Joe: Retaliation said, “The safety of our cast and crew is our top priority and the studio is fully cooperating with all investigating agencies as they examine the circumstances surrounding this unusual accident.”
Jon M. Chu is directing Retaliation, which currently co-stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Adrianne Palicki and Bruce Willis as the original Joe. It’s expected to be in theaters on June 29, 2012.