A crew member, who was winding down the set of Alec Baldwin's tragedy-marked film 'Rust', is hospitalized and may lose his arm now after being bitten by a poisonous spider. The news comes just weeks after the film's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidentally shot dead by Baldwin with a prop gun that contained live rounds.
Jason Miller, a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working to wind down production of the film after Hutchins's accidental death when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider - a venomous spider that is native to North America. His condition now remains critical.
Miller was part of the production crew vested with the responsibility of dismantling the set of 'Rust' after Hutchins' accidental death on October 21. While working, he was bitten by a venomous brown recluse, according to Sky News.
Within days, Miller started experiencing severe symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis. A JustGiving fundraising page also said that Miller has experienced necrosis of his arm and sepsis as a result of the bite.
Miller now is at the risk of losing his arm as doctors believe that if his left arm isn't amputated, then the infection might spread.
"He 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 fundraising page now appears to have been taken down.
Film Producers Mum
While Miller continues to fight in the hospital, the producers of 'Rust' have declined to comment on the recent tragedy. A spokesperson for the film's producers, including Baldwin, told Sky News in a statement: "We do not comment on individual members of the cast and crew's private matters."
Shooting and other production related work of 'Rust' came to a halt following Hutchins' accidental death, which is now being investigated. Hutchins, 42, died after Baldwin pointed and fired a Colt pistol at her while rehearsing a scene. Although a prop gun, it was loaded with live rounds that killed Hutchins on the scene.
The fate of the film now hangs in balance, with Baldwin himself doubtful if the low-budget western will ever get complete after the tragic incident.
The gun was supplied by the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and checked by the assistant director David Halls, who told Baldwin it was a "cold gun," meaning it had blanks. The young armorer reportedly had "no idea where the live rounds came from" and never witnessed anyone shooting live ammunition on set.
Gutierrez-Reed was set to receive less than $8,000 for her job on the set, compared to $650,000 the producers set aside for themselves and a $350,000 contingency fee in case anything went wrong.