Inadvertent Pipe Bomb Killed Woman at Gender Reveal Party

Shrapnel struck victim in the head
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2019 5:51 PM CDT
Inadvertent Pipe Bomb Killed Woman at Gender Reveal Party
Stock photo.   (Getty/Meowu)

Family members planning a memorable way to make a gender reveal announcement at an Iowa party—and on social media—inadvertently built a pipe bomb that killed Pamela Kreimeyer. Marion County Sheriff's Office issued the results of its investigation Monday into the death, the Des Moines Register reports. The relatives put gunpowder into a stand at the party on Saturday, topping it off with some colored gunpowder that would signal the child's gender. They had essentially created a pipe bomb, officials said. After the fuse was lit, metal tubing exploded, per CNN, sending shrapnel flying. A piece struck Kreimeyer, 56, who was standing about 45 feet away, in the head and killed her instantly.

Gender reveal parties, which have gone wrong before, first caught on in 2008 after Jenna Karvunidis blogged about the one she threw, per USA Today. Partly to post on social media, people thought of more creative, and dangerous, ways to announce red or blue. "It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally—guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby," Karvunidis, who has ended her involvement in gender reveal announcements, posted earlier this year on Facebook. (Gender reveals have gone wrong in Australia, too.)

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