Thursday, December 23, 2010

Propane explosion sends six to hospital on Uwe Boll movie set

Here' a story I wrote for today's Kamloops Daily News about a former Kamloops resident turned movie extra who witnessed Tuesday's explosion on the set of In the Name of the King 2.

Daily News Staff Reporter

A cloud of propane filled a tent full of movie extras minutes before an explosion sent several people to hospital in Maple Ridge with varying degrees of burns, a witness to the blast said Wednesday.
"It was a huge explosion. The fireball was bigger than the tent," said Adrian Berry, a former Kamloops resident.
Berry, an extra on the set of the Uwe Boll-directed movie In the Name of the King 2, narrowly avoided being caught in the blast himself.
He had just left the tent and walked about 10 metres down a path at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge where the fantasy/adventure was filming, he said. In the moment it took him to take a picture and turn back to the black, 24-metre long tent, the blast happened.
"Everyone came out on fire. Everyone just came flying out," he said.
At least one person dropped and rolled on the ground, said Berry. Most ran to a nearby lake and jumped in to douse the flames. One woman was trampled by the panicked crowd.
Berry ran to help and patted people down to make sure their costumes, which included capes and other medieval clothing, were out, he said.
"It was horrific."
Paramedics and firefighters were dispatched from Maple Ridge. RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said six people were burned but none of the injuries are believed to be life threatening.
RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating. Dunlop said the explosion occurred as a propane heater was being filled but the cause has yet to be determined.
Berry could see a white cloud of propane vent from the heater into the tent. He said the person who filled the heater did not properly attach the coupling and it came apart.
The tent was a gathering point for extras to rest and eat between scenes. Berry was on the set for a couple of days and the blast occurred on the last day of filming, he said.
Berry plays a medieval warrior in the film, which stars Swedish action star Dolph Lundgren.

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