NEW YORK • Two years after actor Harrison Ford was badly injured on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by a hydraulic door on the Millennium Falcon starship, a Disney subsidiary has accepted responsibility for workplace safety breaches at Pinewood Studios, near London.
On Tuesday, the subsidiary Foodles Productions - a name chosen to hide the filming from Star Wars fanatics - pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in a British court.
"This was a foreseeable incident," Britain's Health and Safety Executive office, the workplace safety regulator, said in a statement announcing the pleas.
On Tuesday, Foodles said it had cooperated with the investigation, adding: "The safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority throughout the production."
In June 2014, Ford became trapped when a remotely operated metal-framed door on the Millennium Falcon, the legendary starship belonging to his character Han Solo, began to shut rapidly, hitting him with a force "comparable to the weight of a small car", the workplace regulator said.
The actor suffered a dislocated ankle and two broken bones in his left leg and was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. Production on the film, the seventh instalment in the space saga, was halted for two weeks.
Ford, 74, who discussed the accident on a British talk show, The Jonathan Ross Show, in December, joked that in the old days, such a door would have been operated by a pulley.
"But now we have lots of money and technology and so they built a great hydraulic door which closed at light speed," he added, using a vulgarity. "Somebody said, 'I wonder what this is,'" he said, mimicking the push of a button.
He said he did not know who pressed the button.
Prosecutors portrayed the accident as potentially deadly, an outcome averted only because an emergency stop was engaged.
The penalty, most likely a fine, will be set on Aug 22.
Mr Angus Withington, a lawyer representing the company, said he plans to challenge the prosecution's portrayal of how much danger was involved.
NEW YORK TIMES