Entertainment & Arts

Tom Cruise film crew members killed in plane crash

Plane crash wreckage Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Two men died when the twin-engine Piper PA-60 went down on Friday

Two pilots working on Tom Cruise's new film have been killed in a plane crash that left a third man severely injured.

US pilot Alan Purwin and South American Carlos Berl died when their small plane crashed in the Colombian Andes.

Another American, Jimmy Lee Garland, survived Friday's accident.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the crew members and their families at this difficult time," said Universal Pictures, distributor of Doug Liman's film Mena.

Cruise will appear in the film as an American drug runner recruited by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) in the 1980s to help it capture cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Garland had been working as a flying double for the US star, whose spokesperson has yet to comment on the crash.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Cruise, seen here in August with members of the Colombian army, has been shooting Mena in the South American country

In a statement on its website, Purwin's company Helinet Technologies remembered him as "a great man, a world-renowned aviator and a brilliant entrepreneur".

"There are no words that can express our heartache for we have lost one of the world's greatest helicopter pilots," wrote its CEO, Steve Gatena.

It is not known what caused the crash, though bad weather has been cited as a possible factor.

Cruise previously worked with Liman on his 2014 blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow and is set to work with him again on sci-fi film Luna Park, according to reports.

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