As expecting parents race to outdo each other in their dramatic and often explosive ways of revealing the gender of their forthcoming child, injuries and even deaths are mounting. Four people have died in the last year at gender reveal parties.
Residents of the town of Kingston, New Hampshire, got a rude shock on Tuesday evening after an explosion rocked their community. Some thought it was an earthquake, according to NBC Boston, as the rumble was felt at least 20 miles away in northern Massachusetts. However, after meteorologists confirmed there had been no noticeable seismic activity, people began searching for other possibilities.
It was soon discovered that the source of the shaking had been a huge explosion of Tannerite, an explosive used in target practice, at a nearby quarry. An unnamed family had used the boom as a dramatic way to reveal the gender of their expected child, said local police, who viewed footage of the incident.
“It was earth-shaking,” one resident told NBC. Another noted the shaking had knocked pictures off her walls, and a third related that another neighbor had suffered cracks in their house foundation.
“It was ridiculous,” one woman said. “I don’t have any other words for it.”
“Obviously, depending on the amount [of explosives] they were using, it could be extremely dangerous,” Kingston Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. told the New Hampshire Union Leader, noting that charges could result from the incident.
Gender reveal parties have become increasingly popular in recent years, although the race to produce the most shocking and impressive reveals has resulted in destruction and even death. Four have died in the last year during gender reveals, including two who perished in February when their airplane crashed in Cancun, Mexico, while performing a stunt to reveal their baby’s assigned gender.
The El Dorado Fire in California that raged from September to November 2020 is locally called the Gender Reveal Fire having been sparked by a pyrotechnic device intended to release colored smoke that would reveal the baby’s assigned gender. One person died in the fire, which caused more than $8 million in damage and destroyed some 22,700 acres. Another in 2017 sparked the Sawmill Fire that burned 46,000 acres in Arizona.