The Hollywood actor has been hospitalised after crashing a small plane onto a golf course near Los Angeles.
The 72-year-old star suffered “moderate” injuries after crashing the vintage two-seater plane he was piloting on to the green at Penmar golf course near Santa Monica’s municipal airport on Thursday afternoon.
Paramedics report that Harrison is “alert and conscious” though he suffers “moderate trauma”, Patrick Butler, Los Angeles assistant fire chief, told a press conference at the scene.
Paramedics “initiated spinal immobilisation, started an IV and began all the necessary medical protocols that we do,” Butler said.
He added: “We are very thankful that the passenger had [only] very moderate injuries.”
Sources familiar with the matter said Ford suffered lacerations to his face and possible fractures. Leaked photos show the actor on a stretcher being taken into an ambulance.
The United Talent Agency, which represents Ford, said in a statement that his plane stalled upon take off. “He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”
Several hours after the crash the actor’s son, Ben, tweeted: “At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.” He expressed thanks for people’s “thoughts and good vibes for my dad”.
“The Star Wars actor reported engine failure to the Santa Monica airport control tower moments after taking off. In a curt, composed-sounding message he requested “immediate return” and was cleared to land but did not make it to the runway,” The Guardian writes.
“Ford is a veteran pilot and has survived at least one previous accident. He was the only occupant of the plane, a Ryan PT-22 Recruit, which was used for training during the second world war.”
He adores flying’s “combination of freedom and responsibility”, the actor joked in a 2002 Playboy interview. “It’s anonymity. I’m not Harrison Ford, I’m November 1128 Sierra.”
A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman, Officer Nuria Vanegas, blamed the crash on mechanical failure. “It was mechanical failure of plane. That’s what caused the accident.”
Patrick Jones, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, condirmed that the pilot was “absolutely” lucky to escape with his life.
“We believe that he is going to survive… Anytime a pilot survives an accident, that is a good thing. I’m sure the pilot is glad that there was a golf course here. ”
Carlos Lugo, 63, who was playing golf at the course when he saw the plane turn around in an apparent attempt to return to the runway. “When he flew over us we knew it was too late to make it back to the airport.” It went through some trees as it came down, he said.
“There was blood all over his face.” He added two doctors who happened to be nearby also helped. “Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him.”