A 26-year-old man has died and police are investigating after a baby shower went tragically wrong in the US.
The Michigan man, identified by police as Evan Thomas Silva, was killed after being hit by shrapnel when a small cannon exploded during a baby shower on Saturday.
The cannon was meant to shoot a flash, a loud noise and smoke into the air as the hosts revealed the gender of their impending baby. Instead, it exploded, sending hunks of metal flying metres across the homeowners’ backyard into the small gathering.
Michigan State Police Lieutentant Liz Rich told TV station WJRT the shrapnel went flying “in all different directions”.
Mr Silva, who was a guest at the baby shower, was struck in the chest, according to WJRT. He suffered serious injuries and was taken to a local medical centre but later died.
Police say the homeowner had tested the cannon several times before the party. They believe gun powder loaded into it caused the cannon to fracture, allowing the shrapnel to blast out.
The local bomb squad, and ambulance and fire crews all rushed to the scene after the blast. The deadly incident is being investigated by state police.
Mr Silva’s brother Phil paid tribute in a social media post.
“Yesterday evening, Evan Silva was in a fatal accident,” he wrote.
“He has left behind a loving family, countless friends and memories in all of our hearts. Further details are to come, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.”
Friends also shared their grief.
“I’m still expecting a call, a text, snap. I want it to not be true,” one posted.
“You were such a fun, happy, uplifting kinda attitude guy … my condolences to all the family,” another wrote.
It is not the first time a gender reveal has gone horribly wrong. In September 2020, one couple’s plan to reveal the their baby’s gender with pink or blue smoke sparked a deadly fire across Southern California.
In 2019, a homemade explosive used to reveal a baby’s gender killed 56-year-old Iowan woman Pamela Kreimeyer. The device was meant to spray powder but instead blew up like a pipe bomb.
“People are being very creative in the gender reveals, but remember safety is always and should be number one,” Lieutenant Rich told WJRT.