Gender reveal parties, a relatively new arrival in the world of parties, have begun to earn a reputation for being disastrous.
While revealing blue or pink balloons or cutting into a blue or pink cake are some of the easiest and most popular ways to inform the world of whether the baby is a boy or girl, that’s too mundane for some folk.
Many have opted for a more explosive means of announcing their child’s gender, and while not all such reveals are disastrous, explosives certainly pose risks.
A friend of the family, Evan Thomas Silva, 26, was one of the people standing outside when the cannon fuse was lit.
“[It was] Similar to a signal cannon,” Michigan State Police Lt. Liz Rich said, according to WJRT-TV. “The cast material exploded and sent projectiles in all different directions.”
The blast sent debris up to 25 feet away, and a garage and three parked cars were hit. Silva, just 10 to 15 feet away, was hit in the chest with a piece of shrapnel.
Silva was transported to Hurley Medical Center in Flint in serious condition and passed away a short time later due to his injuries. It was determined that he was not the one who lit the fuse.
The cannon had been purchased by the homeowner at an auction and had been used several times, reportedly without incident.
“The cannon is designed to create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke,” police said in a statement, according to ABC News.
“The cannon did not contain any projectiles, but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture, resulting in shrapnel being spread in the area.”
“The homeowner reported that it had been shot … several times,” Rich said. “If there aren’t regular inspections on a device like this, the cast material can wear away.
“People are being very creative in the gender reveals, but remember that safety is always, and should be, number one.”
On Sunday, Evan’s brother, Phil, posted the terrible news on Facebook.
“Yesterday evening Evan Silva was in a fatal accident,” Phil Silva shared. “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.”
A GoFundMe was started to cover the young man’s funeral costs, and so far over $10,000 has been raised to help out his family in the wake of this unexpected tragedy.
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