Gender reveal parties aren’t new, but the lengths parents-to-be are willing to go to make theirs “memorable” (i.e. go viral online) continues to escalate, often producing dangerous and occasionally deadly results. This was sadly the case in Michigan on Saturday, February 6, when Evan Silva was killed by shrapnel from a cannon explosion used to reveal the gender of his friends’ baby at the event. The 26-year-old was hit in the chest and tragically lost his life.
- Things went terribly wrong with the cannon. ABC News reports that the cannon was meant to create a loud sound and a lot of smoke which would reveal the gender of the baby via whatever color the smoke ended up being, blue or pink. However, the entire cannon exploded, sending shrapnel everywhere and ultimately costing Silva his life. Silva was said to be standing close to the cannon when it was lit, though he was not the one that lit it.
- The cannon had been used previously. According to Michigan State Police spokesperson Lieutenant Liz Rich, the cannon used at the gender reveal had been used several times previously, which could have led to the accident. “[The cannon was] similar to a signal cannon. The cast material exploded and sent projectiles in all directions,” she explained. “The homeowner reported it had been shot several times. If there aren’t regular inspections on a device like this, the cast material can wear away.”
- The shrapnel caused damage to local property as well. While the loss of Silva’s life is no doubt the biggest tragedy here, investigators discovered that the explosion sent shrapnel up to 25 feet from where it was set off, causing damage to three cars and even piercing a garage of a nearby property.
- There’s now a fundraising page set up for Silva’s funeral. As page organizer Brent Romanik wrote: “We lost Evan Silva to a sudden fatal accident. He left behind many family members and friends who greatly miss him and are grieving. We are asking for donations to help support Evans family with funeral arrangements. Thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated as well.” The fundraising goal was originally set at $10,000, though at the time of writing, $13,821 had been donated.