LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured on Thursday in the crash of a small airplane on a Los Angeles golf course, celebrity website TMZ and local media reported.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the TMZ report, which said Ford, 72, suffered multiple gashes to his head in the crash just over a mile (1.6 km) from Santa Monica Airport and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
"We can confirm that there was a plane crash and the male occupant was a 65-70 years old man. He was transported to a local hospital in stable condition," Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Officer Nuria Vanegas said.
"The incident was reported at 2:25 p.m., it was mechanical failure of plane, that's what caused the accident," Vanegas said.
Assistant Los Angeles Fire Chief Patrick Butler told reporters that the plane struck a tree as it crashed onto the golf course.
Butler said the sole occupant of the plane was conscious and breathing following the crash and was initially tended to be bystanders before paramedics responded and transported him to a local hospital in "fair to moderate" condition.
Paramedics "initiated spinal mobilization, started an IV and began all the necessary medical protocols that we do," Butler said.
Ford's publicist could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ford, best known as archaeological adventurer Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and as the space hero Hans Solo in the “Star Wars” series, is a longtime aviation enthusiast.
Carlos Lugo, 63, said he was playing golf at the Penmar Golf Course when he saw a plane that he believed had taken off from nearby Santa Monica Airport lose power and 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," Lugo said.
The plane went through some trees and landed belly-up near the eighth hole at the golf course, he said.
Reuters images from the scene showed the badly damaged silver and yellow plane crumpled on the golf course grass.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy, Alex Dobuzinskis, Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Sandra Maler and Mohammad Zargham)