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Iowa grandmother killed by homemade 'pipe bomb' at gender-reveal party

Authorities say the tragedy is a reminder of the dangers of using explosives

Image source: CBS New YouTube video screenshot

An Iowa grandmother was killed in a tragic accident at a gender-reveal party over the weekend, when she was hit by metal shrapnel from a homemade pipe bomb that was set off to announce whether her next grandchild would be a boy or a girl.

What are the details?

Pamela, Kreimeyer, 56, died instantly at a home in rural Knoxville, when she was struck in the head by a metal piece from an explosive device created by family members as a display to reveal the sex of her son's baby. The device was supposed to shoot either pink or blue powder to indicate whether the unborn child is a girl or a boy — but things went horribly wrong.

According to a statement released by the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the family "inadvertently creat[ed] a pipe bomb," and instead of the colored powder shooting out of the top of the device as intended, "the stand exploded sending metal pieces flying."

The statement added that Kreimeyer "was standing with other family members approximately 45 feet from the device. It's believed that the projectile that struck the victim then continued another 144 yards through the air coming to rest in a field."

Explosion at gender reveal party kills woman in Iowa www.youtube.com

Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt told The New York Times in a separate statement, "This family got together for what they thought was going to be a happy event with no intent for anyone to get hurt. 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."

BuzzFeed News reported that Kreimeyer showed on her Facebook page that she "was a proud grandmother whose profile picture was a photo of her three young grandchildren."

Officials are continuing to investigate the incident, and no charges have been announced in the case.

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