British star Dean Gaffney reportedly underwent emergency surgery on Thursday (31Jan13) after he was injured in a horrific car crash.

The actor, best known for his role on U.K. soap opera EastEnders, is said to have undergone reconstructive work on his skull after his Mini Cooper car smashed into a steel barrier in Derby, England, on Wednesday night (30Jan13).

Gaffney is recovering at the Royal Derby Hospital but his condition is said to be "not life-threatening".

A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The airbags went off but Dean got a serious smash on his head. He passed out and there was a lot of blood. The car was so folded up he had to be cut out by firefighters."

Gaffney had been driving home after performing in a stage production of Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced at the Derby Theatre.

Theatre manager Gary Johnson says, "It is really sad news. We were all shocked when we found out and it seems to have been a really nasty accident. It must have happened when he was on his way home. All our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery."

The show's remaining performances are to go ahead as scheduled.