The New Mexico state agency tasked with investigating possible workplace safety violations on the set of Rust is “on track” to release its report by Thursday, according to a spokesperson for the New Mexico Environment Department.
New Mexico law requires that if the state’s Occupational Health & Safety Bureau is to file citations against the doomed film’s production company, it must do so within six months of the incident. Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was wounded in an October 21 shooting accident during rehearsals on the set.
“We are on track to release the report by the April 21 deadline,” Matthew Maeza, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Environment Department, told Deadline. “I don’t have details about the report findings to share at this time.”
A day after the shooting, Rebecca Roose, the department’s deputy cabinet secretary, told Deadline: “Our state OSHA program is investigating this. The state takes all workplace safety issues very seriously and will work diligently through our investigation of this tragic fatality.” In January, she said, “Our investigation is looking into possible workplace safety violations by the Rust production company.”
The anticipated report comes as the Santa Fe Sheriff’s office continues its probe into what occurred at the Bonanza Creek Ranch that day last fall. While a series of lawsuits have been filed — including a wrongful death suit by the family of Hutchins against Baldwin, other Rust producers and crew — the police and the local D.A. haven’t charged or arrested anyone in the case.
The investigation by the state’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, which is a division of the New Mexico Environment Department, can levy fines against the film’s production company but cannot bring criminal charges. That’s the domain of the Santa Fe District Attorney and the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department, which still are investigating the incident.
Hutchins and Souza were stuck by a bullet fired from gun held by Alec Baldwin, who has said that he was told that the gun was not loaded. He has also claimed that he did not pull the trigger and that it must have misfired.