A couple conducting a gender reveal event detonated 80 pounds of explosives that shook homes up to 20 miles away, according to police.
“Cops in Kingston, a New Hampshire town not far from the Massachusetts border, received a flurry of 911 calls from terrified homeowners after shockwaves rattled properties within a 20-mile radius of the Torromeo quarry,” the Daily Mail reported. “Residents complained that the foundations to their homes were damaged after a family set off 80 lbs of explosives at a nearby quarry on Tuesday evening around 7 p.m.”
The 80 pounds of Tannerite were covered with blue chalk to create colored smoke to show the expected baby is a boy. While police have talked to those responsible, their names were not released.
One homeowner 20 miles away, Heidi Jordan, told The New Hampshire Union Leader, “I thought for a second that maybe a large dump truck had gone off the road and struck a tree. I also considered that it may have been another minor earthquake.”
Some local residents also said their tap water turned brown following the explosion, the Union Leader reported.
It’s not the first mishap with gender reveals.
In February, an expectant father in upstate New York was killed when a device he was constructing for a gender reveal party exploded, according to state police.
Christopher Pekny, 28, was building the device to reveal his child’s gender in the Catskills town of Liberty when it blew up. The blast killed Pekny and injured his brother, Michael, 27, who was treated for his injuries at the Garnet Medical Center in Middletown, according to USA Today.
“The Robin Hood diner in Livingston Manor, which has been owned and operated by the Pekny family since the 1980s, mourned the loss of Christopher in a statement,” the paper said. “‘We are deeply saddened and must inform you all of the loss of our dear and beloved Christopher,” the family wrote on Facebook. “We appreciate the overwhelming display of love and support that you all have shown.”
Peter Pekny, the two men’s oldest brother, told The New York Times that the blast was “the freakiest of freak accidents that I could ever imagine.” He also said he didn’t know what caused the explosion, and police released no other details, although similar devices shoot out a pink-or-blue burst to reveal the sex of the baby.
Also in February, a 26-year-old Michigan man died after he was struck by shrapnel from a cannon being used at a baby shower.
And in September 2020, a gender reveal pyrotechnic device ignited a massive wildfire in southern California. A smoke device deployed at the El Dorado Ranch Park in California started a wildfire that burned for 23 days across 22,000 acres and led to the death of a firefighter.
In another accident, debris from a homemade explosive used for a gender reveal struck a woman in Iowa and killed her in October 2019.
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