What are the worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets? A list of the top 15

What are the worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets? A list of the top 15

On film sets, magic is typically created, but occasionally, actors take risks to capture the perfect moment. But besides safety measures, some of the worst disasters have occurred on several movie sets. So, what are the worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets?

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
A movie set. Photo: @pixabay
Source: UGC

In the movies, anything is conceivable, from physical battles to flying vehicles to surviving aircraft explosions. Movies can be so fantastic that viewers occasionally lose sight of the fact that real people worked on them, and humans sometimes have to put their lives in danger to create the ideal scene.

15 worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets

The set has many precarious positions, particularly those entailing acrobatics and special effects. Whereas many movies are made without significant problems, some classic films are less fortunate. The following are regarded as some of the most dangerous movie sets.

1. Midnight Rider (2014)

A terrible accident during the first day of shooting for the 2014 movie Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story left camera assistant Sarah Jones dead and other team members hurt. The team was filming on operative railway tracks in Georgia.

Jones did not have sufficient time to clear the space after being granted a one-minute caution, resulting in her being struck by an approaching train. Randall Miller, the film's director, was sentenced to one year for criminal trespass and unintentional murder.

As a result, a non-profit organization called Safety for Sarah was founded in Sarah's memory to promote workplace safety awareness.

2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2021)

Actress Letitia Wright was wounded on set in August 2021 while filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her injuries entailed a mild traumatic brain injury and a shoulder breakage.

Wright was taken to the hospital with fractures that were assumed to be slight. They stopped movie production in November to offer her more time to recover, and production began again in January 2022.

3. Top Gun (1986)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Top Gun. Photo: @my70sand80schildhood
Source: Facebook

Art Scholl was an aerial stunt pilot and photographer who operated on films such as Iron Eagle, The Right Stuff, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

When operating on the 1986 film Top Gun, Scholl was shooting backdrop scenes while in his Pitts S-2 camera plane. He discovered that he couldn't sustain altitude after a flat spin. The plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and his body was never found.

4. Syriana (2005)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Syriana. Photo: @filmretrospect
Source: Facebook

While shooting the scene in which Clooney's cast is bound to a chair and mistreated, the chair is thrown rearwards to the ground. Clooney was struck in the head and injured his back due to the impact, and he was assumed to have suffered a slight wound.

Nevertheless, the renowned actor soon started to endure crippling headaches, which became so excruciatingly painful that Clooney momentarily considered taking his life. The actor began abusing alcohol to cope with the pain, but several surgeries allowed him to recover. His injuries were some of the movie injuries that were real.

5. The Dark Knight (2008)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
The Dark Knight. Photo: @darkknight
Source: Facebook

Everybody knows that The Dark Knight is devoted to the memory of the famous actor Heath Ledger, who passed away months before the film's launch due to a deadly cocktail of prescription medicine.

The film is also devoted to the remembrance of stuntman Conway Wickliffe, who died on set. Wickliffe, whose credits include Cas*no Royale and Batman Begins, was practising the scene in which The Joker's rocket launcher blows up the Batmobile.

The driver of a stunt car was leaning out of the window to rehearse the stunt when the vehicle made a 90-degree spin and clashed with a tree at 20 miles per hour speed. The driver escaped the accident unharmed, but Conway Wickliffe was not so fortunate, suffering severe head trauma. He was 41 years old when he died at the scene.

6. Maze Runner (2018)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Maze Runner. Photo: @sahagunchristine
Source: Facebook

O'Brien was pulled under the car he was fastened to while conducting a stunt that needed him to walk from the top of one vehicle to the top of another. He endured a concussion, broken jawline and orbital sockets, and lacerations.

Production was delayed for a few weeks to enable the 24-year-old to heal. Still, the delay was constantly renewed to almost a year, from a scheduled February 2017 official launch to January 2018, when the doctors noticed that O'Brien's injuries were much more severe than previously thought. Luckily, O'Brien recovered completely.

7. The Conqueror (1956)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
The Conqueror. Photo: @SusanHaywardClassicFilmStar
Source: Facebook

Sections of this notorious 1956 film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan, were shot in St. George, Utah, an erstwhile nuclear test site. The filmmakers were aware of the tests, but the government guaranteed them that there was no danger to the team or actors.

By 1980, 91 individuals from a team of 220 had been diagnosed with cancer, including director D*ck Powell and John Wayne. The Conqueror is considered one of the worst films ever made.

8. Apocalypse Now (1979)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Apocalypse Now. Photo: @HarperMcIntosh
Source: Facebook

Exhausted physically and emotionally, Martin Sheen endured a heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now in the Philippines. He collapsed after crawling out of the cabin where he had been relaxing. Guards guarding the set discovered him and decided to drive him to a small clinic, from which he was airlifted to a hospital.

9. The Expendables 2 (2012)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
The expenditures. Photo: @TheExpendables2Movie
Source: Facebook

Filming The Expendables franchise sounds like a terrible idea: one stuntman was killed while another got severely hurt during what was supposed to be a regulated explosion on the collection of The Expendables 2.

Following the completion of filming, both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone needed shoulder surgery. Jason Statham almost drowned when shooting a scene when the car he had been driving crashed into the Black Sea, but he could swim to security.

10. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
The Flight of the Phoenix. Photo: @TomBell
Source: Facebook

Paul Mantz was one of the actors killed on set. He was a skilled stunt pilot who collapsed on the stage of The Flight of the Phoenix. As he attempted to regain control of his plane, it collided with a hillock and broke in half.

Mantz was killed instantly when the plane crashed into the ground. A later investigation determined that Mantz was possibly intoxicated at the time of the incident.

11. The Crow (1994)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
The Crow. Photo: @DeniseCutroneBinder
Source: Facebook

Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee, was one of the actors who died during filming. He was killed inadvertently on the set of The Crow when a prop gun was incorrectly loaded, causing dummy bullets to shoot with the same force as real bullets. He was only 28 at the time of the incident.

12. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Twilight Zone: The Movie. Photo: TheTwilightZone
Source: Facebook

During the shooting of Twilight Zone: The Movie, famous actor Vic Morrow was expected to carry two kids, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, over a river when followed by a helicopter. The helicopter fell to the ground after a mortar impact detonated close to the tail, further disconnected, and went out of control.

The rotor decapitated Morrow and Le, and Chen was crushed beneath the helicopter. The disaster directly led to stricter safety regulations in the film industry.

13. Comes A Horseman (1978)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Comes A Horseman. Photo: @EverythingBlu
Source: Facebook

Comes a Horseman is a western play featuring James Caan and Jane Fonda, in which Jason Robaard's persona is pulled to his demise by a horse at one moment. Sadly, the very same thing occurred on set.

Jim Sheppard, Robbard's stunt dual for the incident, was killed when the horse pulling him collided with a fence post. Surprisingly, the scene remains in the film and cuts straight before Sheppard strikes his head, implying that his ultimate moments are depicted on screen.

14. Wind (1992)

worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets
Wind. Photo: @Wind
Source: UGC

During the filming of Wind, a film about sailors attempting to gain the American Cup sailing prize featuring Matthew Modine, Jennifer Grey, and the late Cliff Robertson, stunt director Chris Anderson was involved in a tragic accident while on his lunch break.

He opted to eat his food on one of the yachts, only for a further thirty-foot yacht to collide with the boat he was resting on. Anderson's right leg had to be severed below the knee due to the accident. Luckily, Anderson kept his job as a stunt coordinator after the disaster.

15. The Hangover Part II (2011)

Scott McLean, a stuntman for The Hangover Part II, suffered significant brain and physical wounds when shooting a scene involving moving taxis. He was tilting out the window for the stage, and his head clashed with another approaching vehicle.

He filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. for undisclosed damages. Scott's case was one of the worst movie set accidents ever experienced.


  1. What movie had the most on-set deaths? During the filming of Sword of Tipu Sultan (1989), 62 extras and crew members were killed when a fire started and detained inside the building. Sanjay Khan, the film's director and main character, was severely burned.
  2. What are the top 3 injuries on a film set? Some of the most common injuries in movie production include; brain injury, shoulder, legs and arms breakage and back injuries.
  3. What movie had the most injuries? On the set of the 1981 movie Roar, 70 cast and crew members were injured.
  4. Are movie sets destroyed? Film sets are frequently demolished after the filming has concluded.
  5. How many fatal shootings on movie sets have been experienced? Throughout film and television heritage, many incidents have occurred during production, including cast or crew fatalities or significant accidents that hampered production.
  6. What actor was shot on set? Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old child of martial artist Bruce Lee, was shot down at the location of The Crow in 1993 when a co-star fired a prop gun containing an actual bullet.
  7. Who died doing their stunts? Jack Tyree was killed on the set of The Sword and the Sorcerer in 1981, and he died instantly after missing the airbag below during an 80-foot fall.

Above are some of the worst disasters to ever happen on movie sets. Some were extremely serious, causing paralysis and permanent physical damage to some actors, while others resulted in unexpected death.

Yen.com.gh featured a list of the ten best Special Forces in the world. Special Forces are one of the world's most well-trained and highly regarded forces, and these men represent the best a single country can offer in terms of military strength.

Special Forces are a type of defence force that is more highly skilled and lethal than elemental conventional forces. They have been prepared to perform operations that traditional armed forces cannot.

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