A planned cylinder blast to shoot an action sequence for Kannada film Ranam turned tragic on Friday when a mother-daughter duo who were watching the shoot were killed on the spot. The film crew was shooting a car blast sequence in Bagalur Industrial Area, when the debris from the car hit a family of four. Sumera (28) and Arya (8) were killed in the blast, and the father and another child were injured and are admitted to Ambedkar Hospital in Bengaluru.
According to MN Reddi, DG of Fire Services, the film's crew had not obtained any prior permission to shoot the blast sequence. "They have to obtain police and fire department permission and had not taken prior permission to shoot the scene," he told TNM.
Ranam, starring Chethan Ahimsa and Chiranjeevi Sarja, is a V Samudra directorial. According to Chethan, he was not at the spot when the incident happened. “I wasn’t at the set. I was at the set yesterday to shoot an action sequence, but today I wasn’t there. They were shooting a blast. It is very tragic, what has happened,” Chethan told TNM, adding that he was on the way to the site of the accident to find out more.
"I really do not know anything about whether they had taken permission for the sequence. My portion of the shoot was completed six months ago. Mine is only a guest appearance. I was in Mysuru today for another shoot and got back only an hour ago. I don't know what exactly happened since I was not there," Chiranjeevi Sarja told TNM.
Initial reports point to negligence on the part of the film crew. "These type of stunts are done in a highly controlled and monitored atmosphere. The gas level in the cylinder is fixed by stunt masters so that the explosion level is fixed. This way, uncontrolled bursting or flying of parts is mitigated,” an experienced stunt master who works in the south Indian film industries explained to TNM.
“Secondly, no bystanders or rest of the cast and crew are allowed anywhere close to the explosion. It will just be the stunt crew and the people who fix the cylinder. Even the camera is fixed far away from the scene. Finally, to shoot a scene on the road, we need to get prior permission from the district collector or the chief of police and specify which area we will be shooting in," he added.
(With inputs from Sreedevi Jayarajan)