On Friday, a small plane carrying members of the crew of a Tom Cruise movie ran into bad weather while flying from the town of Santa Fe de Antioquia to Medellin and crashed in the Colombian Andes. Two people were killed and one was seriously injured, the Associated Press reports.
An aviation official said that Los Angeles-based film pilot Alan Purwin was killed, along with Carlos Berl, a Colombian. According to the AP, the third person on board, Jimmy Lee Garland, another pilot, from Georgia, was taken to a hospital in Medellin. Cruise was not aboard the aircraft.
Cruise arrived in Medellin last month, the AP reports, to film Mena, a movie about American pilot and drug runner Barry Seal—shot and killed in Louisiana in 1986, allegedly by assassins sent by Pablo Escobar—recruited by the CIA to try to take down the late cocaine kingpin.
The Universal Pictures movie has been filming since late August, Variety reports. “An aircraft carrying crew members crashed while returning to Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellin following production wrap on the film ‘Mena’ resulting in two fatalities,” Universal said in a statement.
“Further details are not available at this time. On behalf of the production, our hearts and prayers go out to the crew members and their families at this difficult time.”
Last year, in addition to the national cash rebates offered to filmmakers spending at least $600,000 in Colombia, Medellin began offering cash rebates of up to 15%. Variety reports that Mena is the first international production to avail itself of these incentives.