As some expectant parents continue to ramp up the excitement at baby showers and gender reveal parties, the tragedies just keep coming. In the most recent celebratory-stunt-gone-wrong, a guest at a baby shower in Gaines Township, Mich., was killed by shrapnel from an exploding cannon.
The dad-to-be purchased the cannon at an auction and had used it previously, but this time it exploded, sending fractured pieces of metal flying as far as 25 feet. One piece struck 26-year-old family friend Evan Thomas Silva.
“[It was] similar to a signal cannon,” Lt. Liz Rich of the Michigan State Police explained in a phone interview with local ABC affiliate WJRT. “The cast material exploded and sent projectiles in all directions.”
Silva later died at Hurtley Medical Center in Flint, Mich.
Silva’s death is the latest in a string of tragedies caused by overzealous expectant parents hoping to add a bit of drama to baby showers and gender reveals. In 2020, a California couple who set off a smoke bomb to announce the sex of their baby sparked a wildfire that destroyed over 22,000 acres and burned for over a month. Another fire was started by a border patrol agent who fired a rifle at a target filled with colored explosives to reveal his baby’s sex in 2018, triggering the 47,000 acre Sawmill Fire that resulted in more than $8 million in damage.
And it’s not just the threat of wildfires from exploding pink or blue announcements that are cause for concern. An Iowa family inadvertently built a pipe-bomb they hoped would explode with pink or blue smoke. Instead a piece of shrapnel struck and instantly killed the baby’s grandmother.
While the Michigan family assured authorities the cannon fire was not a gender reveal stunt, the incident serves as a stark reminder that celebrating the birth of a baby does not need to come with Hollywood-style theatrics for social media likes. If you must have a baby shower, (which, hello, pandemic! Celebrate your new baby over Zoom for crying out loud!) please for the love of … well, for the love of everyone in attendance, please don’t blow things up.
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