An explosion that rattled southern New Hampshire on Tuesday night had residents checking for everything from car crashes to earthquakes.
But the 7 p.m. blast was part of a gender-reveal party at a Kingston quarry, police told the New Hampshire Union-Leader. (The baby is a boy).
No injuries were reported from the explosion, described by one neighbor as “earth-shaking,” other than to some people’s nerves, WBTS reported.
“We live in a four-family townhouse in Plaistow, and it shook our house so bad that we thought someone drove into our building,” Amy Owen told the Union-Leader.
“We heard this god-awful blast,” Sara Taglieri told WBTS. “It knocked pictures off our walls.”
“I thought for a second that maybe a large dump truck had gone off the road and struck a tree,” said Heidi Jordan in Epping, 20 miles north of the quarry, the Union-Leader reported.
Others thought the shaking might have been an earthquake. Several were stunned to learn it was a gender-reveal stunt.
“Are you kidding me?” Taglieri asked WBTS. “I’m all up for silliness and what not, but that was extreme.”
Police told the station they are investigating reports of property damage and considering whether to file charges. The quarry did not respond to requests for comment.
Several people have been killed in recent gender-reveal stunts gone wrong, The Boston Globe reported.
In February, a New York father-to-be died while assembling an explosive device for a gender-reveal party.
In March, two pilots died when their plane plunged into a lagoon in Cancun, Mexico, while revealing the impending birth of a girl. A cannon exploded at a Michigan gender-reveal party in February, killing a guest.
In September, a firefighter died battling a wildfire sparked by a pyrotechnic gender-reveal display in the San Bernardino National Forest in California, The New York Times reported.
The fire ultimately blackened nearly 23,000 acres.
Influencer Jenna Karvunidis, whose own, much simpler gender-reveal party in 2008 some credit with helping start the craze, begged parents-to-be to knock it off following the blaze, LA Magazine reported.
“Stop it,” Karvunidis wrote. “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.”