Accidental Pipe Bomb at Gender Reveal Party Kills 56-Year-Old Grandmother

A 56-year old Knoxville, Iowa woman was killed at a gender reveal party on Saturday when she was struck in the head by a piece of metal from the device created to reveal the baby's sex, according to The New York Times.

Pamela Kreimeyer died instantly when a piece of metal hit her after relatives attempting to put forth a creative twist on a gender reveal accidentally created a pipe bomb instead.

"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," a statement from the Marion County Sheriff's Office read.

Intending to cause a large explosion that would cause colored powder to shoot into the air and make a commotion big enough to be posted on social media, members of the family tinkered with a homemade device—a stand with gunpowder at the bottom welded to a metal base. The general idea was that the ignited gunpowder would launch the colored powder into the air.

"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 continued. "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."

One piece struck Kreimeyer in the head, causing her instant death. She had been standing 45 feet away from the device with other relatives when she was killed by the shrapnel. The piece of metal that hit and killed her continued on its trajectory, bouncing through the air before landing in a field 144 yards (432 feet) away.

"This family got together for what they thought was going to be a happy event with no intent for anyone to get hurt," Sheriff Jason Sandholdt said in the statement. "This is a reminder that any time someone mixes these things there is a high potential for serious injury or death. Please do not take these unnecessary risks."

Gender reveals have attained recent popularity. They can involve something as simple as cutting a cake to reveal pink or blue filling, or pop guns filled with colored glitter. They can be as elaborate as shoving a watermelon filled with blue goo into the jaws of an alligator.

This isn't the first disastrous gender reveal party that has reached national attention.

Gender Reveal
Tragedy at a gender reveal party resulted in the death of a grandmother over the weekend. APeriamPhotography/Getty

Last year in Arizona, a gender reveal party for a United States Border Control Agent resulted in a fire that burned 45,000 acres and caused more than $8 million in damage. In July, an Australian's attempt at causing a car to emit blue smoke at a gender reveal party set the car in question on fire.