Science Channel Cancels Punkin Chunkin Special After Accident - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Science Channel Cancels Punkin Chunkin Special After Accident

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Nov. 3 accident scene at Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville. (Photo credit: Steve Fuguet) Nov. 3 accident scene at Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville. (Photo credit: Steve Fuguet)

BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- Science Channel has canceled its three-hour Nov. 26 special on Delaware's World Championship Punkin Chunkin event following an accident earlier this month that left two people injured, including one critically.

This year's special was set to mark a return to television for the event in Bridgeville, Del., which involves dozens of contestants launching pumpkins from homemade contraptions, many of which are air-powered with long cannons and hauled on the back of trucks.

However, this year's Punkin Chunkin, which took place on Nov. 6, ended in tragedy after a woman was struck by something after an air cannon firing a pumpkin exploded at the site of the contest. The woman is still recovering after initially being listed in critical condition. At the time, a man also was treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries related to the accident.

As a result of what happened, Science Channel, owned by Discovery Communications, has decided not to air this year's competition special. In a statement, Science Channel spokesman Paul Schur said, "In light of the unfortunate incident at the Punkin Chunkin event on Nov. 6, Science Channel will not air 'Punkin Chunkin' as originally planned. We are sending our hopes and prayers for a full recovery to the injured woman, her family and loved ones."

Punkin Chunkin dates back to 1986. It had been canceled for the past two years because of problems finding insurance.
    
In 2014, a Sussex County farmer had stopped making his property available for the contest because a volunteer was injured in an ATV accident and filed a lawsuit. The suit was later dismissed. Organizers for the 2016 contest said an insurance policy was in place to protect the landowner.

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