Gender reveal goes horribly wrong
IT WAS meant to be a joyous moment, but a gender reveal has gone horribly wrong when a woman was fatally wounded in an explosion.
Pamela Kreimeyer, 56, was identified by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, as the woman who was killed by the blast in rural Knoxville, in Iowa.
Local authorities said she was about 14 metres away from the explosion, which was meant to reveal the baby's gender with blue or pink smoke, and was hit in the head by debris as the family experimented with different explosives.
It has been reported the victim was the mother of the dad-to-be, who has been named by the Daily Mail as Brad Kreimeyer who was expecting with girlfriend Kirstie Rankin.
Sheriff Jason Sandholdt's office said the family had been organising the gender reveal for social media and according to USA Today, they'd accidentally created a deadly pipe bomb, which blasted debris 30 metres after it was ignited.
"Members of the Kreimeyer family were experimenting with different types of explosive material on Friday and Saturday," a statement from the Sheriff's office said.
The device was made of gunpowder which was loaded into a stand, welded to a metal base. A piece of wood was placed on the top of the device, with coloured powder on top, and a hole was drilled in the side allowing a fuse to access the gunpowder. They'd taped the top the secure the device.
The plan was for the top to blast off - but the device instead sent shrapnel blasting outwards.
Ms Kreimeyer was reportedly killed instantly when the shrapnel hit her in the head. Other pieces of shrapnel flew out 30 metres, according to the Sheriff's office.
"This family got together for what they thought was going to be a happy event with no intent for anyone to get hurt," Sheriff Sandholdt said in a statement.
"What ended up happening was that Pamela Kreimeyer, a wife, mother and grandmother, was killed by a piece of metal where a metal stand, gunpowder and colored powder were involved.
"This is a reminder that anytime someone mixes these things there is a high potential for serious injury or death; please do not take these unnecessary risks. My condolences go out to the family."
Six people had gathered to watch the explosion on Saturday, including Ms Kreimeyer and the pregnant mother. Officers responded around 4pm and pronounced her dead at the scene.
Audio obtained by KCCI reveaked the terror at the scene, as the caller can be heard telling authorities: "You are needed...a pipe explosion that has hit a woman in the head."
The report also revealed the shock at local residents, who described the incident as a "horrible accident".
"It was a horrible accident. Something that is really just terrible," one told the publication. "Who can expect such a terrible loss to happen when someone is trying to celebrate and welcome a life to the family."
Additional reporting by the New York Post