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Gender reveal parties claim another life after cannon explodes during baby shower in Michigan

A celebration of a new life ended in one fatality when a cannon exploded during a baby shower and sent metal shrapnel flying into a friend of the couple who had been invited to the party.

The shocking incident unfolded in Gaines Township, Michigan, a town southeast of Flint.

Police said that the homeowners had planned to fire off a small explosive device resembling a cannon as part of the baby shower celebration, but when they tried to ignite it, it blew up.

Metal shrapnel from the explosion hit the victim, three parked cars, and the garage where they were holding the baby shower.

The victim was taken to a hospital in Flint in serious condition where he later died. Police identified the victim as Evan Thomas Silva, a 26-year-old man from the town of Hartland.

The homeowners indicated that the cannon device was more of a novelty item, and that they had fired it previously with no problems.

"The cannon is designed to create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke," Michigan State Police said. "The cannon did not contain any projectiles, but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture, resulting in shrapnel being spread in the area."

Phil Silva, the brother of the victim, left a message on Facebook about the incident.

"Yesterday evening, Evan Silva was in a fatal accident. He has left behind a loving family, countless friends and memories in all of our hearts," he wrote. "Further details are to come, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated."

Gender reveal parties gained an infamous notoriety after the massive El Dorado fire in San Bernardino County, California, was sparked by a malfunctioning smoke machine during a party in September.

The ensuing conflagration lasted more than two months, caused untold destruction, and took the life of one firefighter. 

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