'Star Wars' production company admits health and safety breaches over Harrison Ford injury

The actor was left with a broken leg after the incident on the set of the Millennium Falcon

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File photo. Image: Anthony Devlin / PA Archive/Press Association Images

A production firm has admitted safety breaches after Star Wars actor Harrison Ford broke his leg after it was crushed by a door on the Millennium Falcon set.

Ford was knocked over and pinned down by the heavy door as he rehearsed for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire on 12 June, 2014.

The 71-year-old had been on the set of the Millennium Falcon spaceship in his role as Han Solo when he was hit by the door.

Prosecutor Andrew Marshall told Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court that Ford had walked through the door with another actor before pressing a button.

Believing the set was not live and the door would stay open, he tried to walk back through it.

But the door was remotely operated and it hit Ford in the pelvic area, pinning him to the ground.

The British Health and Safety Executive later described the force of the door as being comparable to a small car hitting the actor. 

Mr Marshall said Ford was lucky to have survived the accident, adding: "It could have killed somebody - the fact that it didn't was because an emergency stop was activated".

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, which is owned by Disney, admitted two breaches under health and safety law - one relating to its duty in relation to employees and the second being a breach over people not employed by the company.

After the accident, Ford was left with a broken leg and was taken to hospital in Oxford by helicopter.

He spoke about the accident before Christmas that year during an appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show, saying that the door in the original film had been closed by a stage hand and a pulley.

The new door, however, he described as closing "at light speed".

Defending the film company, Angus Withington said that, while they admitted the offences, they would contest the level of risk involved.

A spokeswoman for Foodles said they had "provided full co-operation throughout HSE's investigation into the on-set accident that occurred in June 2014".

She added: "The safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority throughout the production."

The company will be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on 22 August.