Authorities say the pilot and co-pilot of the plane were killed in the crash, which played out while the expecting parents and their guests watched from a boat on Nichupte Lagoon off Cancun.
Video captured by the family and released by local media shows the plane flying over the water before the crash, in what appeared to be the planned part of the gender-reveal stunt. The plane was trailing a banner to announce the child’s gender.
“Girl! Girl! It’s a girl!” the witnesses on the boat can be heard shouting in Spanish.
One of the guests can be heard joking about a potential crash before it happens.
“As long as it does not fall on us,” he can be heard saying in Spanish, according to a translation by the Washington Post.
The plane soars over the boat and then dips into a nosedive before plowing into the ocean. The family can be heard screaming at the sight of the crash.
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Mexican officials rushed to the scene and recovered two bodies from the crash. The cause of the disaster is still under investigation.
The crash is just the latest high-profile disaster related to a baby announcement in recent years, as parents have reached for increasingly elaborate and dangerous methods to tell the world about their child’s sex.
A grandmother-to-be was killed by a gender-reveal pipe bomb in Iowa in 2019, and an expectant father was killed while trying to build his own gender-reveal bomb in New York State last February. The latter death occurred just a few weeks after a Michigan man was killed by a novelty cannon at a baby shower.
Other gender-reveal stunts have had major non-fatal consequences. In Australia, for instance, a car caught fire while the father-to-be was trying to burn out his tires to create blue smoke in 2018.
Another expectant father was saddled with a lifetime debt of US$8 million after he caused a devastating wildfire with a gender-reveal bomb in Arizona in 2017.
Parenting blogger Jenna Karvunidis, who is credited with starting the gender-reveal trend, has said she regrets introducing the idea to the world.
“Who cares what gender the baby is?” she wrote in 2019.