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Woman sues Discovery, others over pumpkin-flinging accident

Discovery Communications Headquarters in Silver Spring. (The Daily Record /Maximilian Franz)

Discovery Communications Headquarters in Silver Spring. (The Daily Record /Maximilian Franz)

DOVER, Del.  — A woman who was critically injured when an air cannon exploded during a Delaware pumpkin-launching competition has filed a federal lawsuit against event organizers and participants, state officials and Discovery Communications.

Suzanne Dakessian claims in Wednesday’s lawsuit that she was left with severe and permanent injuries because of negligence and wrongful conduct by the defendants.

The defendants include Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, which inspected the air cannon through its boiler safety program.

Dakessian was injured at last year’s Punkin Chunkin when a trap door blew off a cannon called the “Pumpkin Reaper.”

At the time, Dakessian was managing a camera crew for Sharp Entertainment, which was producing a television special for Discovery’s Science Channel.

After the accident, the airing of the scheduled three-hour special was canceled.