Variety reports The Science Channel has canceled its upcoming Punkin Chunkin TV special, following an accident at the event that left a woman in critical condition. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association hosts the competition in Delaware every year, in which teams from around the world build machines in an effort to launch pumpkins into the air as far as possible. The contest has been a yearly endeavor since the ’80s, and began receiving TV coverage in 2002, first on the Discovery Channel and then the Science Channel. Science Channel had been planning to air a three-hour special on Saturday following Thanksgiving, after a two-year hiatus due to legal concerns.
However, the Punkin Chunkin—which took place on the first weekend in November—ended in tragedy on the final day of competition. In the air cannon division, in which high-powered air blasts are used to fire a pumpkin from a cannon, the machine built by team Punkin Reaper malfunctioned, resulting in a large metal plate bursting off the machine and striking a woman in the head. (Another man sustained minor injuries from the explosion as well.) The woman was a 39-year-old producer working on the event. “In light of the unfortunate incident at the Punkin Chunkin event on Nov. 6, Science Channel will not air ‘Punkin Chunkin’ as originally planned,” Science Channel spokesman Paul Schur said in a statement. “We are sending our hopes and prayers for a full recovery to the injured woman, her family and loved ones.”