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nAz
09-18-2003, 11:37 AM
Jawbreaker Candy Explodes, Burns Fla. Girl's Face
Girl About To Put Candy In Her Mouth

POSTED: 2:41 p.m. EDT September 17, 2003
UPDATED: 6:31 p.m. EDT September 17, 2003
STARKE, Fla. -- Authorities in Bradford County, Fla., and several state agencies are trying to figure out what caused a piece of candy to explode in a 9-year-old girl's face.

Taquandra Diggs said she was holding a large piece of jawbreaker candy in her hand and when she went to put it in her mouth, it exploded.

The girl suffered severe burns on her face, neck and arm.

"It hurts a bunch," she said.

Family members said they bought the jawbreakers in July in Valdosta, Ga.

"She's in better spirits than all of us," her uncle, Delray Covington, said. "We just shake our head; it brings tears to the family's eyes."

Investigators are testing the candy (pictured, right) to figure out what happened.

"I can't say if it's a product defect or if it's tampering at this point in time," Bradford County sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Hinds told WJXT-TV. There was also some speculation that the candy was left in the sun, the liquid inside was boiling or had some chemical reaction.

Part of the piece of candy was taken to the Florida Law Enforcement crime lab in Jacksonville for analysis. Another part was still laying in the family's yard, covered by ants.

Taquandra is scheduled to return to the doctor later this week to evaluate the need for cosmetic surgery to remove scars.