Woman in critical condition after Punkin Chunkin accident

Special to the Sussex County Post Milton-based air cannon Pumpkin Reaper was among the local pumpkin chunkin teams that participated in a target shoot Oct. 12 at Parsons Farms Produce's fall festival event in Dagsboro.

Milton-based air cannon Pumpkin Reaper malfunctioned Sunday. (Sussex County Post file photo)

BRIDGEVILLE – A 39-year-old woman is in critical condition following the explosion of an air cannon at Punkin Chunkin Sunday in Bridgeville.

Delaware State Police said parts of the cannon hit the woman in the head and face. She was treated at the scene by Sussex County paramedics before being transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Christiana Hospital by helicopter.

The state police said the Punkin Reaper cannon’s trap door – where pumpkins are loaded – separated when the pumpkin was launched.

The woman’s name is being withheld pending notification to her family, state police said.

A 56-year-old man was also injured in the incident. He is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Nanticoke Memorial in Seaford.

An investigation by Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Natural Resources is still ongoing.

The Punkin Chunkin competition, which features air cannons and other contraptions throwing pumpkins for distance, was shut down after the accident happened about 2:45 p.m.


The contest returned to Bridgeville this weekend after a two-year hiatus.


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