Punkin Chunkin brings together science and seasonal food competitions; but this year the fall festivities were marred by a tragic accident.
For those who haven’t seen the annual televised event with their parents during the Thanksgiving holiday, the competition that began way back in 1986 has a simple premise: amateurs build their own cannons, catapults, and trebuchets to launch pumpkins. Best distance wins.
After previously airing on Discovery, the event was cancelled in 2014 and 2015 for insurance reasons after an ATV accident then resurrected this year to air on The Science Channel.
Sadly, it looks like insurance folks may have been right about the danger after all, as this year onlookers were shocked when one of the cannons partially exploded!
When it was fired, a large metal chunk — reportedly the size of a small car door — flew off the machine and back into the crowd — striking a TV producer.
The unnamed woman was motionless for several moments until being flown by helicopter to the hospital.
A 56-year-old man was also struck with a piece of debris from the blast but suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The female producer remains in critical condition. See the scary (but NOT graphic) footage of the explosion (below)!