Two People Killed During Filming of New Tom Cruise Movie

  • Sep 11, 2015 10:48pm GMT
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Associated Press - by Joshua Goodman

A small plane assigned to the crew of a movie starring Tom Cruise crashed in Colombia on Friday, killing two people, including a Los Angeles-based film pilot, and seriously injuring a third, the country’s civilian aviation authority said.

An official with the aviation agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter, said Cruise was not on the aircraft.

The official said an American, Alan Purwin, was killed along with the Colombian Carlos Berl. A third person aboard, American pilot Jimmy Lee Garland, was rushed to a hospital in Medellin.

The official said the twin-engine Aerostar ran into bad weather late Friday afternoon after taking off from the colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia for a short flight to Medellin.

Cruise, a trained pilot, arrived last month in Colombia to film a movie called Mena, about a pilot who worked for the late cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. (In an unfortunate coincidence, during shooting in Georgia in May, Cruise filmed a scene for the film involving a plane crash.)

Cruise’s spokeswoman, Amanda Lundberg, had no comment.

Purwin was founder and president of the Los Angeles-based Helinet Technologies, a company providing aerial surveillance technology to law enforcement and government agencies. On the company’s website, he’s described as “one of the top film pilots of his generation” with a list of credits from television and major Hollywood movies such as Transformers, Pearl Harbor, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Helinet’s Vice President Jack Snyder declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

Universal released the following statement: "An aircraft carrying crew members crashed while returning to Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellin following production wrap on the film Mena resulting in two fatalities.

"Further details are not available at this time. On behalf of the production, our hearts and prayers go out to the crew members and their families at this difficult time."

More details as reported by CNN.