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Hollywood pilot on Tom Cruise film killed in Colombia crash

A small plane assigned to the crew of a movie starring Tom Cruise crashed in the Colombian Andes on Friday, killing two people,

Published: Updated:

A small plane assigned to the crew of a movie starring Tom Cruise crashed in the Colombian Andes on Friday, killing two people, including a Los Angeles-based film pilot, and seriously injuring a third, the country’s civilian aviation authority said.

An official with the aviation agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter, said Cruise was not on the aircraft.

The official said an American, Alan Purwin, was killed along with the Colombian Carlos Berl. A third person aboard, Jimmy Lee Garland, a pilot from Georgia, was rushed to a hospital in Medellin, where he was in intensive care.

The official said the twin-engine plane ran into bad weather late Friday afternoon after taking off from the colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia for a short flight to Medellin. No emergency was reported to air traffic controllers.

The Piper Aerostar-600, with tail number N164HH, appears to be the same aircraft that Cruise, a trained pilot, was photographed exiting the cockpit from upon his arrival in Medellin on Aug. 20 to start work on his new film.

Called “Mena,” the film stars Cruise as American pilot Barry Seal, a drug runner recruited by the CIA to try and capture the late cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Seal was shot and killed in 1986 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, allegedly by assassins sent by Escobar’s Medellin cartel.

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