Man killed at gender reveal party by cannon explosion

Patrick Kelleher
·2-min read

A man has died after he sustained fatal injuries when a cannon exploded at a gender reveal party.

Evan Thomas Silva, 26, from Hartland, Michigan, got caught in the blast at the gender reveal party in Gaines Township on Saturday (6 February) at around 7.30pm, MLive reports.

Silva was standing around 15 feet away from what police described as a “novelty signal cannon”, which is supposed to create a loud sound, smoke and a flash of light.

The cannon had been bought at an auction before hosting the gender reveal party, police said, and it was tested several times before the guests arrived.

However, tragedy struck when the cannon exploded when it was fired up as part of the gender reveal festivities. Investigating officers said the blast was in part caused by gunpowder that had been loaded into the cannon which caused it to explode when used.

Silva was struck by shrapnel in the freak accident, while five others standing nearby escaped without injury. The shrapnel also hit three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held.

He was rushed to Hurley Medical Centre in Flint, but he later died from his injuries.

Local police are investigating the incident and a case is expected to be sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor upon its conclusion.

Gender reveal party explosions have become worryingly common.

This is far from the first gender reveal party to end in disaster. Numerous people have died in bizarre, freak accidents at such events in recent years.

The woman who first popularised the trend issued a plea for parents to stop hosting gender reveal parties in September 2020 after one such event caused a 9,600 acre wildfire that led to more than 20,000 Californians being evacuated from their homes.

Beauty blogger Jenna Karvunidis said at the time: “Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.”