Crew member 'falls to death' on set of new Tom Hanks film

Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays one of America’s most cherished icons Mister Rogers on the set of Tri Star

CREDIT Lacey Terrell

Bystanders heard a unusual noise at one point, went to investigate, and determined that Emswiller had fallen from the balcony.

James Emswiller, a sound technician, fell two stories from the balcony of an apartment building on Thursday in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon while taking a break between scenes, CBS News reports.

Emswiller fell from a balcony he was standing on during a break in filming.

He was taken to UPMC Mercy hospital near Mt. Lebanon, Pa., in serious condition, but his status worsened after arriving.

Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania law enforcement officers maintain that Emswiller "may have experienced a medical problem" prior to falling from the balcony. "They noticed he wasn't there and saw him down on the ground", he added. Hanks was reportedly on set at the time of the accident.

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Filming was suspended while authorities investigate the incident. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's loved ones, friends, and colleagues", Sony Pictures/Tri-Star Pictures said in a statement.

In 2015, Emswiller won an Emmy for outstanding sound mixing for a limited series or a movie for the HBO production of "Bessie".

Emswiller is a veteran of the industry, having worked on major films like The Avengers, Jack Reacher, and Concussion. Hanks is playing Rogers in the film.

The film is not strictly a biopic about the TV star's life, but tells the story of Rogers' relationship and adventures with journalist Tom Junod, and is based on Junod's 1998 Esquire profile on the beloved icon.

"You Are My Friend", from Sony, is slated to release October 18, 2019. Rogers died in 2003 after hosting "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for decades on public television.

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