A memorial for Will Poulter’s Will is held at the Dyson pub, Belfast. (Photo by Justin Raab/National Post via Getty Images)
Following the death of film and TV set worker Will Poulter at the hands of a prop lightbulb, bosses at Belfast’s Ardoyne Studios have issued a plea for an independent investigation into his death.
This comes just days after an independent forensics expert said he would be able to find no evidence the prop lightbulb was to blame. However, a memo sent by the studio to staff this week instructs them to be careful in the use of props and lighting, suggesting that he may have been “harmed due to his epilepsy disorder.”
Poulter died, aged 30, after stumbling across a banister, plunging six storeys and sustaining severe head injuries, falling off a studio set on January 22, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
“This week I have received an email asking me to attend an interview with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DTI) at public enquiry next week,” he says.
“I am not aware why they are calling me but I will prepare in the best way I can. I have asked my solicitor to pass on my correspondence to them. I would urge them to include all this in any submissions given to the inquest.
“I have also started legal proceedings for wrongful death and I would consider an undertaking for at least my legal costs.”
Poulter, who is survived by his wife, was working on the set of Red Dead Redemption 2 when the prop lightbulb fell on his head.
A Labour Party motion tabled at Stormont on Friday calls for an independent investigation of the shooting hours and safety protocols for set works following this tragedy.
“I wish to invite the Minister for Enterprise and Trade to work with representatives of our industry in Northern Ireland, the industry stakeholder representatives and the local trade unions to appoint an independent body to carry out a thorough investigation into the shooting of movies and television programmes in Northern Ireland,” Michelle O’Neill said.
“They should do so on the basis of full independence and in line with a full audit of all protocols set out in the Belfast Agreement.”
Meanwhile, sources told the Belfast Telegraph that the young actor suffered from seizures on set.
“We have responsibility for the health and safety of our employees and cannot comment on another person’s workplace experiences or circumstances,” a statement from Ardoyne Studios reads.
“However, the facts in this incident clearly indicate that a prop lightbulb in an elevated position was not raised to ensure full safety of our employees.
“In addition, we need to do everything in our power to ensure that any accidents that happen in our facilities are fully investigated.”
-With John Channing and Mitch Jelniker