TORONTO — Sixteen actors dressed as zombies were injured Tuesday when they fell from a platform during filming of a new movie in the "Resident Evil" series, officials said, and rescue workers at first were startled at the seemingly catastrophic scene.
"I could see the look on the first paramedic, saying 'Oh my God,'" Toronto emergency medical services Commander David Ralph said with a laugh.
Officials said none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, but that was far from apparent when rescue workers first arrived at what appeared to be a horrific scene. The victims' gory zombie costumes made it difficult for crews to assess the severity of the actors' injuries, said Peter Macintyre, Toronto emergency medical services spokesman.
Paramedics responded to the call from Cinespace Film Studios around 8:30 a.m., and Toronto Police Sgt. Andrew Gibson said responders quickly figured out which zombies were injured and which were just in character. "It did kind of catch us off guard when we walked in," he said.
Twelve victims were taken to a hospital.
One actor suffered a cracked rib, one a broken leg and one a possible back injury, the film's producers said.
Police Constable Tony Vella said the actors had been filming a scene on a high wheeled platform. The platform moved as they were going to another platform, leaving a gap into which the zombies fell.
The film's producers, Davis Films/Impact Pictures (RE5) Inc., Constantin Film International GmbH, issued a statement that said the accident involved background actors. They said a 4-foot (1.2-meter) high platform separated from the set, creating a gap.
Seven of the injured have already returned to the set, they said.
"Resident Evil: Retribution" is the fifth installment of a franchise based on the popular video game series and will be distributed by Screen Gems and Sony Pictures.
Lead actress Milla Jovovich was not on set at the time of the accident, according to her representative Christine Tripicchio.
Vella said the incident is classified as an industrial accident. Ontario's Ministry of Labor is investigating.
"They are sending an inspector and an engineer," said ministry spokesman William Lin, adding that about 50 workers were on the platform when it moved.