An Emmy-winning sound technician has fallen to his death on the set of Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers biopic.
James Emswiller, 61, had been taking a smoke break on the balcony of a two-storey building in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where the film was shooting, on Thursday night (11Oct18) when he apparently collapsed and fell to the ground.
"Basically, he appears to have suffered from a medical emergency while on the balcony," Mount Lebanon Chief of Police Aaron Lauth tells People.com. "He was taking a break and smoking a cigarette when he fell...
"Other crew members were inside the building, but not on the balcony. They noticed he wasn't there and saw him down on the ground."
According to The Blast, he was found unconscious, and paramedics called to the scene transported him to a local hospital, where he was admitted in a serious condition. He later died from his injuries.
Production on You Are My Friend has since been halted as studio chiefs and officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigate the incident.
"This is a devastating tragedy and the studio is investigating the matter," reads a statement issued by a representative for Sony Pictures/TriStar Pictures. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's loved ones, friends, and colleagues."
Hanks is thought to have been on set at the time of the tragedy, but he has yet to comment on the sad news.
Emswiller had previously worked with the sound teams on blockbusters like The Avengers and Jack Reacher, while he won an Emmy Award in 2015 for his work on TV movie Bessie.
You Are My Friend focuses on beloved American TV personality Fred Rogers' friendship with journalist Tom Junod, who reluctantly agreed to write a profile piece on the star, only for the meeting to inspire a whole new perspective on life.
Rogers, the host of popular educational series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, died in 2003, aged 74.
Diary of a Teenage Girl filmmaker Marielle Heller is directing the movie, from a script written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
It is still currently scheduled to open in theatres in October, 2019.