Gender reveals have become something of the norm for expectant mothers and fathers getting ready to welcome a baby into the world. However, while gender reveals got their start as a simple cake cutting with the color of the cake corresponding to the baby’s gender, they have now become quite the spectacle.
Such a spectacle in fact, that many parents-to-be are pulling out all the stops. For one family, an over-the-top gender reveal party ended in tragedy as a relative lost her life. The woman, from Iowa, was attending a gender reveal party when an explosion meant to display blue or pink smoke instead exploded like a pipe bomb, creating dangerous debris. The woman died after being hit in the head by a piece of that debris, according to CBS News.
By the time first responders arrived at the scene, the woman had already passed away, dying immediately after the debris struck her in the head, Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The explosion occurred around 4:03 p.m. on October 26. The woman was said to be 56-year-old and Tuscaloosa News has identified her as Pamela Kreimeyer. She was a relative of the soon-to-be parents hosting the party.
The device designed to explode in order to reveal pink or blue smoke was reportedly homemade. Kreimeyer was about 45 feet from the homemade device when it exploded like a pipe bomb.
The person who designed the device has not been identified. However, as Tuscaloosa News reports, the device was a metal cylinder welded to a stand and packed with gunpowder that “they thought would send the colored baby powder aloft.” Unfortunately, authorities believe the tape “covering the top of the cylinder caused it to unknowingly detonate like a pipe bomb.”
Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt explained to KCCI, “They had a metal base plate along with a two-by-two metal piece connected to the stand in the bottom. They put in gunpowder with a fuse, put in a piece of wood in between as a buffer and powder on top of that.”
Sandholdt said Kreimeyer’s death should be a lesson to others. “It’s a reminder that anytime you are mixing explosives of any type there is a serious potential for serious injury or death.”
The news of the explosion and the woman’s death at the gender reveal party spread around Knoxville, Iowa fairly quickly. A retired pastor, Gary Roozeboom told KCCI-TV, “It’s something that’s supposed to be fun and exciting. You have your family there and then, wow, everything changed in an instant.”
And a fellow Knoxville resident, Shane Farriester, added, “It was a horrible accident. Something that is really just terrible. Who can expect such a terrible loss to happen when someone is trying to celebrate and welcome a life to the family.”
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