A video posted online shows a plane flying over a blue lagoon near the Caribbean Sea. The plane released a pink cloud into the sky, revealing that the couple holding the event is expecting a girl.
The cellphone video, which lasted less than one minute, was captured by someone on the boat where the couple was holding a party along with family and friends. The footage shows a small white plane soaring near Isla Dorada, a waterfront community in the center of Cancun's tourist zone.
At the beginning of the video, one man joked that the stunt was fine as long as it won't crash on the boat filled with partygoers. A second man can also be heard asking in Spanish if the baby is a boy.
The video followed the small plane through the clear sky, pausing to show the pilot releasing the pink cloud. The person shooting the video apparently lost sight of the plane for a couple of seconds and people can be heard cheering for the hosts. But the cheers turned into frantic screams when they realized that the plane had crashed.
Authorities later revealed to local media that both the pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the crash. The incident is still being investigated and authorities have yet to release the names of the victims.
Local authorities, the National Guard and the Municipal Police arrived at the scene at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The plane was spotted 300 meters from the shore.
Francisco Fernández Millán, the president of the Nautical Association of Quintana Roo, said that the association coordinated Tuesday's rescue efforts.
The authorities revealed that the pilot of the white Cessna seemed to own the aircraft. The small plane, which departed from Holbox Island at 3:31 p.m. on March 30, belonged to Xomex, an aviation company.
According to its website, Xomex "offers commercial, recreational and cargo flights in the Riviera Maya and the country's southeast area." A Xomex representative didn't immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post on March 31.
The Federal Civil Aviation Agency has launched an investigation to determine what caused the crash.
In a statement, Millan said one of the people on the plane died during the rescue operation. The other person died while receiving first aid from a first-responder. Pictures posted on social media show workers dressed in white hazmat suits and local authorities rolling at least one body wrapped in a white blanket from the dock.
The Cancun plane crash was not the first incident where a gender-reveal celebration turned deadly.
Early in February 2021, a man died after he was struck by shrapnel from an exploding novelty cannon used during a baby shower in Michigan.
Evan Thomas Silva, 26, was killed when a "small cannon-type device" was fired at a Genesee County home. While the homeowner had used the cannon before, police officers said that the device was used to "create a big flash, a loud noise and smoke."
Silva was standing 10 to 15 feet away from the cannon when he was struck by shrapnel. Silva was rushed to the Hurley Medical Center, but he died from his injuries.
Silva was a guest at the party held at the home of a family friend of the expectant couple. The cannon also damaged three parked vehicles and a garage at the property.
Back in April 2017, an Arizona couple's gender reveal started a wildfire that destroyed over 45,000 acres of land. The wildfire took a week to extinguish.
Dennis Dickey, a Border Patrol agent, shot a makeshift target labeled "boy" and "girl" placed in a field near Tucson.
But the target exploded with a lot of blue smoke. The explosion then ignited a fire at the surrounding bush.
It took firefighters from 20 stations to put out the wildfire, which burned for a week. The fire also caused over $8 million in damages. (Related: Gender reveal party responsible for apocalyptic West Coast wildfires.)
Even Jenna Myers Karvunidis, the blogger who is credited with inventing "gender reveal" parties back in 2008, advised couples to stop throwing these events.
Karvunidis, who blogs for High Gloss and Sauce, spoke up after a gender reveal party in California sparked the El Dorado wildfire. Officials in San Bernardino County announced that a gender-reveal party caused the wildfire and destroyed over 10,000 acres.
Karvunidis begged couples to stop throwing "stupid parties" that often cause destruction due to the use of firearms and pyrotechnics.
The wildfire started from the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. It spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the city.
Karvunidis also called out the couple who hosted the gender-reveal party for holding the event when it was 116 degrees in Pasadena. She expressed disbelief at people lighting a fire amid the heat just to announce the sex of their child, which is not important enough to warrant such destruction.
Officials warned that people responsible for starting fires "due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible."
Visit Environ.news to read more articles about the dangers of gender-reveal parties.