Actor Alec Baldwin fired a fatal shot on Thursday with a weapon used as a prop on a movie set in the US state of New Mexico.

The camera director of the film, Halyna Hutchins, was killed, the police chief of Santa Fe reports.

Hutchins, 42, was taken to hospital by helicopter.

She died there a few hours later from her injuries.

Director Joel Souza, 48, was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.

The incident happened during filming for the film

Rust

, a western for which the 63-year-old Baldwin works as an actor as well as a co-producer.

He had to shoot during a scene with a gag weapon, a gun with blanks that is used during movie shooting.

It is not yet clear how this could have caused a fatal shot.

The police are currently investigating the matter.

No one has been arrested.

However, the shooting for the film has been stopped for the time being.

The western, in which Travis Fimmel and Jensen Ackles also played a part in addition to Baldwin, is about a bandit whose grandson is convicted of murder and who goes on the run with him.

42

Helicopter films set where Alec Baldwin shot camera director

Not the first firearm accident on film set

There are strict rules about the use of guns on film sets, but accidents have happened in the past.

The most famous incident is that of Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, who died in 1993 while filming

The Crow

when he was shot by a gun that should have been loaded with blanks.

Baldwin posted a photo on Instagram just hours before the accident, showing that he was on set.

This photo has since been removed.

The actor has been seen in movies and on TV since the 1980s.

He became known for high-profile films such as

The Hunt for Red October

and two different

Mission Impossible

films.

His parody of former US President Donald Trump on

Saturday Night Live

gained him many new fans.

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