A gender reveal party in Iowa turned tragic when a 56-year-old woman died instantly after being struck in the head by flying debris from an explosive device meant to reveal either blue or pink plumes of smoke.
Pamel Kreimeyer, a soon-to-be grandmother, died instantly after being struck in the head by a piece of metal from what was essentially a "homemade pipebomb" on Saturday afternoon, reported the New York Times.
“Our investigation showed that members of the Kreimeyer family were experimenting with different types of explosive material on Friday and Saturday in an attempt to record a gender reveal that could be posted on social media for friends and family,” wrote the Marion County Sheriff Department in a statement sent to the publication.
A homemade stand was welded to a metal base and filled with gunpowder that would have ignited the revealing device, shooting out either blue or pink smoke.
“A hole had been drilled in the side for a fuse, a piece of wood was placed on top of the gunpowder and colored powder was placed on top of the board,” the statement said. “Tape was then wrapped over the top of the metal tubing, inadvertently creating a pipe bomb. Instead of the gunpowder shooting the powder out the top of the stand, the stand exploded sending metal pieces flying.”
The woman was standing with other viewers about 14 meters (45 feet) away.
Gender reveal parties have grown in popularity in recent years and entail family and friends gathering around a creative way to "reveal" either blue or pink material that indicates whether the family will be expecting a boy or girl. It's not the first time a party has ended in tragedy and officials remind partygoers to practice caution and care – and avoid explosives.
The Million-Dollar Party
"One of the worst" days of this 37-year-old father's life was when his future child's gender reveal party inadvertently set off a 19,000-hectare (47,000-acre) wildfire across the state of Arizona.
The father-to-be placed Tannerite, a legal and highly explosive material, inside of a target stuffed with blue powder. When shot with a high-velocity rifle, it set off sparks that caught in the nearby brush. Spurred by high winds and particularly dry conditions, the wildfire forced hundreds to evacuate and caused millions of dollars' worth of damage on April 23, 2017.
Gender Reveal Party Gone-Wrong Ends In Blue Flames
Footage released by Australian police officers shows the moment a black sedan spins its tires, releasing clouds of blue powder in front of a group of excited bystanders filming with their handheld devices. Things quickly spiral out of control as the vehicle seems to lose traction on the rural two-lane road before becoming stuck and bursting into flames.
The incident was filmed in April 2018 by drone, according to the Washington Post. The publication reports that although no one was injured, authorities caution that such "burnout" gender reveals are "dangerous, ill-advised, and not to be tried at home."
Alligator-Watermelon Stunt Ends With Predictable Results
Not all gender reveal parties of recent end in tragedy. That is, unless you consider the decline of human common sense to be of tragic proportions.
A Louisiana man posted a video to Facebook showing "T-Mike, the Gator King" as he was throwing a gender reveal party for his grandchild. In true Louisiana fashion, he placed a watermelon inside the gator's mouth and encouraged the animal to take a bite out of it. He did, and blue jello oozed from the fruit to reveal that the baby-to-be is male.
The "Better-Luck-Next-Time" Gender Reveal
Like the hilarious moment this couple attempted to reveal their baby's gender by popping an inflated black balloon with a couple of sticks. After a couple of good thwacks back and forth, the balloon is released from its stake in the ground and begins to float off.
With fast-acting, new-parent reflexes, daddy and another party participant dash off after the balloon in an attempt to grab it before it takes off into the abyss – to no avail.
Fence: 1 | Parents: 0
The "Hope There's Still Something Left In There For Another Kid" Party
Or these soon-to-be parents who meant to send off these blue-powder filled poppers when one, er, backfired. The explainer at the beginning seemed fairly straightforward: just twist and pull.
But hey, congratulations!