On Monday, it was widely reported that an industrial explosion at Wingnut Studios, where The Hobbit is currently being filmed, injured two crew workers. While an investigation into the explosion was ordered, Wellington firefighters kept quite about the accident, as the Wellington Fire Service had agreed to a gag order while attending emergencies at Peter Jackson's facilities.
Firefighters are under gag order on The Hobbit set
News of the gag order came to light when certain members of the fire service refused to answer questions posed to them by a local news channel, claiming that they had signed confidentiality agreements. The Wellington crew had signed the agreements months ago while risk checking the set. The producers were worried that details surrounding The Hobbit might leak out, and wanted to keep the shoot under wraps.
While the embargo on any information stemming from the set of The Hobbit is fairly routine and in place to keep the secrets of the film itself from getting out, The Department of Labor demanded that the Wellington Fire Service share vital information in regards to the explosion on Monday.
A spokesperson for Peter Jackson went on record stating that neither the ambulance that arrived on the scene nor anyone on the Department of Labor staff were asked to sign the agreement, but there are now concerns that Peter Jackson may be getting special treatment in terms of dealing with workplace accidents. The spokesperson counteracting that accusation by saying that Peter Jackson only implemented a policy that is commonplace internationally.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released December 14th, 2012 and stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter. The film is directed by Peter Jackson.