Two crew members working on The Hobbit have been taken to the hospital after an explosion at the New Zealand studio where the movie is filming.
Emergency services were called to the Stone St Studios in Miramar on Tuesday morning after a blast in one of the workshops where technicians were working on a statue prop. Two men suffered minor burns and were transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.
The Hobbit unit publicist Ceris Price tells the New Zealand Herald, "A couple of the guys... (were left with) mild burns but nothing serious... One of them had some burnt nostril hairs and, apparently if that's the case, there is always the risk of inhalation so they get checked out."
Officials at New Zealand's Department of Labor have carried out an investigation into the incident and no further action is expected.
The two-part Lord of the Rings prequel, which stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, has been beset by numerous problems as movie bosses attempted to push the project into production.
Financial problems at the MGM studio behind the film led to severe delays and the exit of director Guillermo Del Toro. He was replaced by producer Peter Jackson, who had to face down threats from acting unions in a dispute over pay and conditions, and the project was further delayed this year to allow Jackson time to recover from surgery to treat a perforated ulcer.
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