Iowa woman dies from explosion at gender reveal party

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An Iowa woman is dead after being hit by a piece of flying debris caused by an explosion that was part of a gender reveal announcement.

But the reveal - which involved a homemade explosive device - went horribly wrong, shooting metal shrapnel toward the family standing 45 feet away.

A 56-year-old Iowa woman was killed on Saturday by debris from an explosion during a "gender reveal" party, according to authorities.

It happened at a gender reveal party at 2079 180th Place in rural Knoxville just after 4 p.m. Saturday.

Tape was then wrapped over the top of the metal tubing, inadvertently creating a pipe bomb.

Sheriff Jason Sandholdt's office said members of the family had been experimenting with different types of explosive material.

They drilled a hole in the side of the stand to install a fuse and placed a piece of wood on top of the gunpowder, before adding colored powder indicating the baby's gender, the statement said.

The Marion County Sheriff's office is investigating the incident, ABC News reports.

"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".

The parties have increased in popularity in the last decade, particularly in the U.S., as parents reveal the gender of their unborn child to friends and relatives, often with some kind of stunt.

In Australia, where there's a trend to reveal gender via colored smoke from cars during burnouts, a number of vehicles have burst into flames during the stunts.

The woman was at a party for a couple to announce the gender of the baby they are expecting, sheriff's officials said.

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