Organizers say a lack of funding could soon squash an annual pumpkin-flinging event in southern Delaware.

Punkin Chunkin officials say this year’s 32nd edition of the event will go on, but that the organization is struggling.

STORY: Few details after Punkin Chunkin explosion; woman critical

The Science Channel withdrew as a main sponsor of the event after a woman was critically injured last year when she was hit by metal after an air cannon’s trap door blew off.

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Frank Payton, president of the World Punkin Chunkin Championship Association, says the event will return to Sussex County in November, but that without more sponsors, this year’s event could be the last.

Back after a two-year hiatus prompted by an accident and lawsuit, it was the final day of the weekend-long event, when the trap door of the air cannon named Punkin Reaper flew off when it fired. Judges had already seen about 10 air cannons fire pumpkins more than 3,000 feet using compressed air. 

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As people were running away from the cannon, which sent large pieces of material into the air in all directions, a 39-year-old woman was struck in the head and face, critically injured.

A 56-year-old man was also injured.

It wasn’t the first time tragedy struck the event.

In 2013, a farmer who made his land available for the event was sued by a volunteer who was seriously injured in an ATV accident during the 2011 event. The lawsuit was dismissed but made obtaining insurance for the event a struggle.

BACKGROUND: New booze rules, TV special for Punkin Chunkin

Before the 2016 event, changes were made. Those attending were no longer allowed to bring their own alcohol and tailgating was confined to a designated VIP parking lot.

In order to raise funds for this year’s event, the organization has revamped its sponsorship pricing, said David Quigley, vice president of the association, on the association’s website,